We left Ouvea the north most of the Loyalty Islands early one morning to start our trip north east across to Port Vila in Vanuatu. We picked our day which seemed to be the best of the bunch with winds predicted of 15-20 knots. As soon as we headed out the winds were already blowing 25 knots which remained for most of our trip, frequently blowing up to 30 and more. We struggled to keep on course what with the wind trying to blow us off and also the confused seas which were coming into the side of us. PredictWind this time had got it a little wrong and we had a boisterous journey for the whole 30 hour crossing.
The nights were especially uncomfortable as there was no moonlight, normally you get a little light from it helping you see any hazards along the way. With no light you stare into the darkness occasionally looking around and over you shoulder to see if you can see any other ships lights, staring into blackness not knowing if there is something 100 meters away or a few miles away is not nice.
No photos of the journey I’m afraid, too busy holding onto my hat !!
We were pleased to get into Port Villa harbour early afternoon the next day and everybody was pleased with an early night, nothing crashing, bashing, or falling off waves as we slept !
The next day we went to find the Immigration office and checked in. We had already cleared Customs and Quarantine which was a quick affair the day before. We signed some forms, paid some cash and jobs done !
It was good to be back in Vanuatu, the people were polite and friendly as ever. As you walked down the street every so often you would here somebody say ‘hello’, not just the normal ‘hello’ but the ‘heelllooo’ like they really meant it !
It was about 3 months since the cyclone had hit and there was only a few scares left behind. Some tin roofs were still bent, some old boats were washed up against the island opposite and some debris still lay around. Allthough Port Vila had been hit quite bad they had quickly repaired a lot of the damage and carried on with their lives – what else could they do ?
Monohull smashed against a jetty on Iririki island –
Two more sail boats washed up on the shore –
Power boat nearby –
Port Vila harbour –