Cruising the South Pacific with Tackless II
Tackless II, along with her two captains, Don and Gwen, cruise from Fiji to Australia
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
080825- Moving North
(Please note that the update on the Rom Dance Festival on Ambrym Island which should appear here for some reason did not get posted. Please look for it out of sequence above in early September.)

Had a grand sail nineteen miles north to Waterfall Bay, Pentecost, (S15*47'.57; E168*09'.14) although we arrived too late to launch the dinghy and go into the waterfall like the other yachties. That's because the old Perkins shut down as we were lifting the dinghy aboard at Abmrym. Just stopped! Don and and two other guys from boats still there kibbitzed over it for about four hours. Evidently, the problem was air getting in through some connection or other as Don tightened a few from the tank onward, but it takes so long to bleed and restart a Perkins so it was hard to know wht actually fixed things. Finally got it, and the wx was so fine, that after letting the engine prove itself for 40 minutes, we upped anchor and and sailed off anyway.

Penetecost is a long string bean of an island with steep mountains thrusting up into clouds. The lower flanks of the island are heavily clad in coconut plantations, and there are a whole bunch of anchorages along the western coast, most with villages but some without. Waterfall Bay is really not a bay, just a dimple in the coastline situated between two villages. We could see the cascade from the waterfall as we turned in, but by the time we got to anchoring depth it was lost behind some trees. Although the cruising guides recommend this as a day anchorage only, we had a very settled night with just a little bounce. The oddest thing about it was the bright electric flood lights with which the village of Melsisi to the north was lit up and the trucks headlights (at least two) that traveled back and forth along a coastal road. We haven't see electricity in a long time!

The boat may have have a fairly settled night, but I didn't. Around about midnight I woke abruptly with a miserable intestinal bug. I mention this only because I am relieved, after stressing over what of my own cooking might have caused it, to find that David on Runaway Bay had it on the otherside of the island chain. So there is something going around. So I didn't enjoy the 25-mile sail north to Asanvari as much as I would have otherwise, being sleep deprived and having to....commute below... shall we say.

Asanvari (S15*22'.874; E168*07'.42) is a much touted anchorage as one of the most beautiful and friendly in Vanuatu. It was the destination of the other, larger group of ICA Rally boats that left with us from Fiji. Friends of ours from Trinidad had stopped here several years ago and constructed a hydroelectic generator in the waterfall that tumbles into the bay, so it was high on our list of places to visit. Turning in, it didn't look all that enticing, but once in, it is actually a rather well protected bay with steep forested hills wrapping around. The fat semi-volcanic island of Ambae, that straddles the V of sea between Vanuatu's two strands of islands, fills up a good bit of the horizon westward, and we can hear, although not see, Asanvari's waterfall. (Turns out we could have seen it if we'd anchored closer to the village.) Since I was lying low yesterday, we haven't been ashore yet, but rumors are that Chief Nelson is already planning something to celebrate the new big group of boats arriving. Good thing I am feeling better today!

This e-mail was delivered via satellite phone using GMN's XGate software.
Please be kind and keep your replies short.


Blogger geodesic2 said...
Hope you feel better - not fun :( - the waterfall sounds pretty neat - pictures???
We are in the height of hurricanes but so far we have dodged the bullet - hope that continues.
Bill C
s/v Geodesic2

Blogger gf salt said...
have enjoyed your log file since the caribbean, esp. like baja logs..all professional..thanks.bob t.
armchair sailor,honolulu
good luck,and fair winds

For older posts, see the Posts by Date
or Posts by Topic links in the upper left!
For our Australia posts starting in late 2008 see
Australia Blog