Monday, October 31, 2011

Anchored at Santa Ana Island

Hello All,
We got here to the anchorage at 1100 today. Our position is 10 50.21 S 162 27.08 E. I had to run the engine 21 hours to get here. We a least had a good sail for more than half of the way. We got the dingy aired up and headed for the beach. There is a small village here that looks very traditional and clean as a button. The people here all seem very nice and the kids greeted us when we arrived and all 30 of them showed us around. We met the chiefs daughter and signed her yacht book. The chief is in Honiara at the moment and won't be back for a month. This is a very protected anchorage and the Island is surrounded by nice sandy beaches. After looking at all of the entry's in the yacht book since 2006 a relatively small number of boats actually stop here. It is a wonderful little Island. Two of the young kids took us on a 10 minute walk through the jungle to a fresh water lake right in the middle of the Island. It is a huge lake, about half the size of the one I grew up on and was absolutely beautiful.
We will go back tomorrow and take a hike to the other side of the island where there are 2 more villages and take a look around. I wasn't sure what to expect of the Solomon's but so far its been awesome.
Well that's all for now.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

10 48.26S 163 45.92E

Hello All,
We have had a good sail so far up till just an hour ago when the wind died out to nothing. The weather forecast predicted this but I was hoping they were wrong. I am running the iron sail right now with 77 miles to Santa Ana Island so we should get there in the morning sometime.
Everyone has just been reading books and enjoying the flat calm seas. We did have a little excitement today. After getting the sails down Rafal and Paula jumped in the 91 degree water with there snorkel gear on. They said the water clarity is amazing. Rafal said, I am going to dive to the bottom I will be right back, I told him you better be able to hold your breath for a while, we are at 12,000 feet. He said he could see the bottom of the boat perfectly from 200 feet away.
We can hope the wind may fill back in somewhat to get us in under sail but I won't hold my breath.

That's all for now. Talk to you soon.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

10 44.33S 165 05.58E

Hello All,
We are on passage to Santa Ana Island on the eastern tip of San Cristobal Island. We have had good wind all day and into the evening, in fact to good. We have 200 miles to get there and we were going a little fast so we reduced sail through the evening to slow us down some and having less sails makes it safer for squalls. It was a beautiful day and a steady 15 knots of wind on a beam reach. We will island hop a few times before we get to Honiara so will be cool to see some different places along the way and breaks the trip up to basically day sails.

I have been watching the sea water temp and it has been rising to over 91 degrees, nice and warm huh. Seas are about 4 feet so it is a pretty smooth ride.
Well that's all I know for now so I will talk to you guys tomorrow.


Friday, October 28, 2011

A Good Time in Lata

Hello All,
This morning we went across the bay again to Lata to conclude our Quarantine check in. When we got there the officer was still out of town so we took a walk around and in our travels ran into a 60 year old Polish traveler. We all hit it off with him right away, especially Rafal and Paula. We went to the market for bread and afterwards went to his hotel, well kind of a hotel, anyway we ended up chatting with him most of the day. He is on holiday here and is a HAM radio operator. He brought some portable gear with him and spent a few days out at the reef Islands not far from here broadcasting to other HAM operators. He has traveled all over the Pacific doing this. He sets up his gear and talks to people all over the world. The funny thing is he was suppose to fly out of here last week but the plane keeps getting delayed so he has been stuck here for a week now. Now keep in mind, this place has little to no Internet, land line calls are extremely expensive, there is no ATM and 99% of the place doesn't even know what a credit card looks like so all of that being said this is an awful place to be stranded. He is taking it pretty well and has had a good time just visiting with the locals. He is a really nice guy and had some good stories to tell about his travels. Rafal and Paul got to speak Polish most of the day with him so they really enjoyed that. There was a gal that was also at the hotel stranded. She was there with us also. She is originally from Vanuatu but now lives in Australia. She has an extended family that lives here so was here visiting. She has been here for 2 weeks waiting for the plane. This place really takes the "Island time" rule seriously. I made a few more trips to the Quarantine office and finally got with the guy and got all of the paperwork sorted out.

Today was a very interesting day to say the least and it was really nice to visit with those folks.

We are getting ready for the 200 mile crossing to San Cristobal Island and from there we will only be 100 miles and some change from Honiara on Guadalcanal.
I will keep in touch on the crossing so stay tuned.

P.S. This was sent on Thursday 10-27-2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lata and Flip Flops

Hello All,
Yesterday between rain showers we took the dingy 2 miles across the bay to Lata so we could check in with the Police. This is an official port of entry but due to funding they can't afford to keep a customs officer here so they have set up the police with some paperwork that they will send on to Honiara to let them know we are here. After the formalities we went to look for a place to exchange some of our money for Solomon Dollars. One of the Policemen was kind enough to show us around the town and asked in our behalf if any of the shops could exchange money for us. There is a bank here but they didn't have enough to spare. After an hour of making the rounds a kind man asked the bank for the exchange rate for our currency and helped us out himself. I had 120 dollars Australian that I got at Luganville hoping that would make an easy exchange and it worked out great. I did my research before coming here so there were no surprises and my intelligence was spot on. We looked around a few of the shops and went to look at the fresh market. It was afternoon already so there wasn't much time left. It is not a very big place but to my surprise there was more here than I thought there would be. Tobias, my crew from Germany had some good advise for me when he was on the boat, he said "Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed". It really worked for me this time. After a few hours exploring town we headed back to the boat.
When we returned we just hung out on the boat and watched a few M*A*S*H shows last night. Paula really gets a kick out of them.
Now to get to the strange header. Last night my new Flip Flops from Port Vila were stolen off of my boat. I left them in the cockpit after we returned and they were missing in action this morning. Like I said I did my research here in the Solomon's and was warned that some people here have sticky fingers. Before coming here we striped the deck of lines and things that are easy to take. I have paddle locks on everything that I sent, bolted down and we haul the dingy out at night. I have dropped the anchor 200 times in 8 different countries and this is the first theft I have had. The Pacific is a very safe place to cruise but this country in particular has had a lot of political unrest in the past and saying that, the country is very poor. It leaves a really bad taste in my mouth but it was careless of me to leave something like that out. I was warned so I can't get to upset, but still it tick's me off. The people we have met here so far have been very nice and willing to help however they can so I can't let a few thievs ruin the whole lot. Alright, I have vented so feel better now.
Tomorrow we will go to town and finish our business with the Quarantine Officer. He is suppose to be back after lunch. We will plan to leave here Saturday morning for a 200 mile crossing to Santa Ana Island in the Guadalcanal group of Islands.
That's all for now.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nendo Island, Lata, Solomons

Hello All,
We arrived at Nendo Island, Graciosa Bay, Position, 10 44.17 S 165 49.80 E. We entered the bay about 1000 yesterday after rain and squalls all through the night. It is one of the most miserable trips I can remember in awhile. We sailed the whole way but had out all of the rain gear to keep dry. Besides the weather it was a good sail up here.
As we entered the bay we were visited by a small skiff. It was the Quarantine Officer heading to some other villages for a few days. He stopped us and said if we could spare a few minutes he would give us Quarantine before he leaves so we stopped a drift and let him come onboard for the clearance. It was very easy and he was very nice. As it turns out we will have to wait till Friday till he gets back so we can pay him. The wind is suppose to be calm for a few days so we told him it would be no problem to finish the paper work on Friday. We found a beautiful flat calm little cove on the East side of the bay to anchor. We have been visited by many boats and everyone keen to trade something for veggies or wood carvings the Solomon's are famous for there wood carvings. We got a very good sleep last night and are ready for the day.
We will take the dingy across the bay this morning to Lata to check in with the Police. There is no Customs here so that will do till we can get to Honiara.

That's all for now. I will talk to you soon.


Monday, October 24, 2011

11 01.2S 166 36.68E

Hello All,
We left Vanikolo Island this morning at 0900. We no sooner got on the outside of the reef when a big squall hit us with wind and rain. I think I am almost getting used to those things now. After noon it cleared up somewhat and we have had a pretty good sail so far. We are running with the wind so I only have up the mainsail with one reef in. The wind has been about 20 knots all day and into the evening so all is well so far, we still have the night to go through. We are headed for Nendo Island, the town of Lata where we are suppose to check into the country. I have heard that the customs is not always around but we will try. We should be there at mid morning at our current speed.
All is well here and everyone is enjoying the down wind sail to the next Island Paradise.
I will talk to you soon.


Vanikolo, Solomon Islands

Hello All,
We made it to Vanikolo Island the most Eastern of the Solomon Islands. Our position is 11 40.26 S 166 55.88 E We got here at 1000 this morning after a very rough 27 hour passage. There are 8 villages on the Island but none are close by where we anchored. It is lake like conditions and very well protected so it is a nice change. We will use this only as an overnight anchorage and head for Utupua Island 4miles west in the morning.
We are all very tired so I will keep this short. I will fill you in on events as they happen.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

On Passage to the Solomon Islands

Hello All,
We are more than half way to the first Solomon Islands as we speak. The weather has been crap, rain showers and 10 foot seas but, the wind is good. We have been sailing since we left Pac Man Island at 0615 this morning. We have only a double reefed main and have been doing 5 knots plus. There were some massive squalls that hit us most of the morning. I haven't seen it rain that hard in a long time. Our destination is Vanikolo in the Santa Cruz Island group. It is not a check in port but I will never tell. lol. We plan to be there in the morning, I hope not to early. I was not expecting to be going this fast with such little sail. I will give you a position tomorrow.

Yesterday we took a walk around the village between rain showers. We went up to the new school that was just built and visited with one of the teachers. She explained how many classes there was and how many kids attend. 53 in all, not a big school but the arrangement reminded me of when I went to school in Copper Center, Alaska. After the rain stopped we went back to the village and visited with Chief Nicholson. We attended the fund raiser later yesterday and helped out by buying some fish and veggies that were for sale. We said our goodbye's to everyone and got back to the boat at 9 pm. Vanuatu has been an awesome experience and I do plan to write a Vanuatu "The Country" blog pretty soon.
I will talk to you all soon.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Grass Hut Construction

Hello All,
Right after a very light breakfast this morning we hit the beach and met up with Nickolson and his wife. We chatted for a bit then took a half hour walk out the bay where he had some lumber prepared from the bush. We all took a hand into getting it all back to the village and took a little break, then the work began. We constructed a few walls and a few ceiling headers so he can make a few rooms inside. We just had a hand saw and some nails to put it all together and it came out pretty good. We got done about 2 pm then we came out to the boat where I soldered some connections on a small battery for him. He uses the battery for light at night to go find cray fish on the beach. The light makes them freeze in there tracks and makes them easy to catch.
We headed back to the village after the wiring was done and I took in my computer. We watched some Vanuatu music videos they had and half of the village showed up to watch. It's funny, they have the DVD's but no way to watch them so when a yachtie brings a computer in the whole place shows up.
Tomorrow the village is having a fund raiser for the new school being built. We told them we would come and join in the festivities. We plan to leave for the Solomon Islands Saturday morning so we will say our good byes tomorrow.
That's all for now.


Ureparapara Island

Hello All,
We made it over to Ureparapara Island today from Motu Lava. We took a little side trip to the Reef Islands basically along the way. The reef Islands are Vanuatu's only Coral Atoll Islands in the group and if you time it right with settled weather you can anchor outside the reef and explore the shallow lagoon. We didn't have such luck with it blowing 25 knots so we got close to take a good look and then carried on. My position is 13 32.50 S 167 20.30 E. I call it Pac Man Island because of the shape. If you look it up you will see what I am talking about.
Yesterday Paula and Rafal took the dingy about a mile and a half so they could go meet the people of the village of Motu Lava Island and the small Island next door, Ra Island. I stayed behind to do some boat maintenance. They returned right before dark and had a great time. They met Father Lucas's son that rents some bungalows on Ra Island. They said the place was amazing and everyone very friendly.
We made it over here to Ureparapara Island about noon and found a place to anchor. There was one boat here already from Australia. We met him and his wife in Oyster Bay last week and they are working there way to the Solomon's also. We had a little with them and the chief earlier in the village.
Speaking of the village Rafal and I went in to say hello and take a walk around. We met chief Nicholson right away and he invited us into his home. He happens to be Father Lucas's oldest son and moved here with his mother when he was 14 years old. He became chief at 19 and was involved in politics for many years but is now just the chief of the small village of the 223 people who live here and they live very traditional. They only get a supply ship once a year so they grow 99% of what they eat. There is no airport here so the only way is by boat and it is a rough 25 mile trip from Sola.
The Chief invited us all to dinner at his place tonight and we had a great visit. They only see about 15 yachts a year so they are very welcoming to visitors. Yachts really help out the village also by giving a helping hand or trading food stuffs. In the morning Rafal and I are going to help the chief do some work to his new house he is building. That is the other cool thing, they don't have much money so they build the old way. They all live in traditional grass huts with everything made by hand with a few modern things like nails and string. It will be an interesting day tomorrow and I will let you know how it goes.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Father Lucas and the Service

Hello All,
We checked out of the country this morning with Customs and made our way unofficially to Moto Lava Island 12 miles north east of Sola, Petteson bay. It took us 3 hours to get here hard on the wind. Right before we got here just rounding the point a bit of a squall hit us and put the rail in the water and the 5 gallon shower bag in with it. It was floating ok but we had our hands full trying to get the sails down. Amazingly I never lost sight of it and recovered it after we got the sails secure. When we arrived we were trying to find the place Father Lucas told us to go anchor. The protected side of the Island has a very rocky shore so finding a sandy spot to anchor was a challenge. The whole Island is not charted very well so when we got in close Rafal jumped in the water with the snorkel gear and found a good place among all of the rocks and coral heads to anchor the boat. My position is 13 39.95S 167 39.28E It is very protected here and fairly flat so that is a nice change. On the south end of Motu Lava there is the small Island of Ra and the main village. It is surrounded by a reef and we are told it is beautiful. There is no where to anchor down there so it is a bit of a trek to get there from here. There is no village or anything in our anchorage so it is nice and quiet. I think we will spend at least one night here.

Now for the news your biting your nails off to here, Our Sunday in Sola. We went to the church services and got to see the new minister be ordained. The service was very good and as usual the singing was in perfect harmony.
After the services Father Lucas invited us back to his home. He made us coffee and told some stories. He is such a nice man, talking to him reminded me of talking to my family, always helpful and how ever he can help he will. In his 75 years he has done heaps for the country of Vanuatu and still is. He has set up a small foundation to help kids get through college that can't afford it. After the visit we went to town center and hung out with the whole village getting ready to have a lunch feast. The villages of Moto Lava also came over by skif to join. They had more food there than you can imagine and they even ground roasted a whole pig for the festivities. We were told this doesn't happen to often but because a minister was being ordained they threw a pig party. They had recorded music playing and dancing. They even had a few comedy skits done by some of the local women. We had a great time at the 3 hour feast and after it was over we went back to the boat. If that wasen't enough fun for one day we had to add a night cap. At 7 pm at the primary school we went to watch the World Cup Rugby game between New Zealand and Australia. The school has the only Satellite TV in the village and about 40 locals showed up including us. New Zealand won big time and most of the room was rooting for them. That was a good ending to a good day.

I will let you know how our time is here on Motu Lava. Have a good night.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Squal after Squal after Squal to Vanua Lava Island

Hello All,
We left Espritu Santo on Thursday late afternoon to head to the Banks Islands of Northern Vanuatu. I was keeping a close eye on the weather and Thursday looked very good for an 80 mile crossing North to Gaua Island. As we were leaving everything looked good for the crossing, 12 knots of wind beam reach with all of the sails flying. A few hours into the trip all was well with a star lit sky and Freestyle sailing along at 5.5 knots. About midnight the wind became less and less to the point where there was no wind so we got the sails down and started the engine. We were under engine for about 3 hours when the wind came up again and we could sail and we did so and were sailing once again. It wasn't long after we got everything flying that a squall was brewing to our east and it was only a matter of time that it was going to hit us with either lots of rain or wind or both. The wind hit us first so we reduced sail and waited for it to pass. This happened all through the night and into the morning. We counted 12 sail changes of some sort and we were getting pretty tired. By morning we were double reefed with staysail only and on my watch I saw 45 knots of wind for 45 minutes. When we got to Gaua Island about 10 AM the weather was terrible and in order to get to the anchorage I needed good light to get through the reefs. So I made the decision to abort Gaua and head straight for Vanua Lava Island 20 miles farther north where we planned to check out of the Country.
We arrived at the anchorage of Sola, the most Northern place of Vanuatu to check in or out of the country and the seat of government for the Banks group of Islands. After a pretty rough trip of only 16 hours we were looking forward to anchoring in the protected waters of Petteson Bay, as it turned out not so protected. You are sheltered from the wind ok but the swell was like being out at sea. We made due and had a good nights sleep after all.
This morning we got the dingy off of the deck and went into town to look around. The first person we met was a retired priest, Father Lucas. He and his family have a small beautiful resort they run here. He caters to yachts that come here and gave us a very warm welcome to the Islands. We talked for a bit and took a walk around. There is not much here for being the seat of government but all of that being said how much do you need. We walked up a hill that has a cross on it and got some good views of the anchorage. Father Lucas told us to get the boat in a little closer so not to be in the swell. When we got back we did so and he stood on the beach waving us to where the best spot was to anchor and boy what a difference. Always nice to have local knowledge. With out having good charts of the area you have to depend on locals to tell you. I think Captain Cook was the last one to chart this place because after moving the boat I'm anchored on Father Lucas's house on the Island.
We were invited to go to church in the morning and Father Lucas told us that they are ordaining a minister tomorrow so it should be good.
We will be here until Monday and then check out, well that's the plan anyway. I will keep you posted.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Weathered In, Oyster Bay

Hello All,
We are still in Oyster Bay waiting for good wind and something better than rain squall after rain squall. Not to get to technical but the Inter tropical Convergence Zone is right on top of us and looks like it should pass by tonight. I will be keeping a close eye but we should be able to leave tomorrow afternoon.
In between rain showers we went to the Oyster Island and walked all the way around it. It took us 40 minutes to do so and that was with stopping and looking at a few of the beaches along the way. The resort gave us a nice map of the area and they have set up a really nice walking path. All the way around I rate Oyster Bay a 10 for anchorage, beauty, swimming and snorkeling.
I learned yesterday after going to the Yacht Club that the owner of the resort and the 61 acre Island, it sits on, is owned by a fellow cruiser that is from New Zealand. He bought it not very long ago and has been fixing it up to be a very nice place. The channel between the island and mainland Santo is only about 300 yards. They have a pontoon boat that looks like a grass hut that fairies the guests back and forth. It is only a 20 minute drive to Luganville from here so I would say he has a more than ideal setup.
I don't know what's happening tomorrow. We will figure something out and then leave here tomorrow late afternoon.
That's the plan.


Monday, October 10, 2011

More new pictures

Hello All,
I came over to the little resort this morning and figured out they have Internet so I have been here a few hours putting up more pictures.
What I will start to do is add a new album for each Island that way the pictures don't get buried in an album of one whole country. I will have this all figured out by the time I get home, hehe.
Ok battery is about dead so got to go.
Talk to you soon.


Dingy River Running and Snorkeling

Hello All,
Peterson Bay has been a beautiful anchorage. Nice and calm with no roll of the boat, almost like being on land. Yesterday we took the dingy up a river close by us and idled up a mile and a half under the canopy of large trees and around sunken logs. It winded its way all the way up to the head where there is fresh water that comes out of a 50 feet deep hole and makes an awesome blue colored pond. We went for a swim and Rafal and Paula both used a rope swing that hangs over the water by a huge Banyan tree and had a great time. The water was so clear it was like looking through a window. There were 2 other boats with there dingy's and everyone had a great time. On our way back it started pouring down rain so we got a bath in the pond and a shower in the dingy. I took a little walk while we were up at the hole to try to find the old AirForce airstrip but it looked like a hike so I returned back to the swimming hole and we left.
Today we went out to the reef around the corner of the Island and had a great snorkel. The coral was very alive with lots of fish and bright colors, I even got to see a small Turtle. Another boats dingy was out there with us and they were looking for an old WWII plane wreck but we never found it. We ended the swim by landing on one of the Islands with a small but nice white sand beach. I wanted to take a look at the 6 acre Island because I saw it for sale in Luganville while I was window shopping. They are asking 300,000 Australian Dollars for it, after looking at it, it doesn't seem a bad price. We returned to the boat later and have been hanging out.
This morning before going out to play I had to climb the mast to replace a deck light and just generally look over the rigging. Everything checked out ok so afterwards Rafal tried his hand at climbing. It's always fun watching someone new try to self ascend the mast.
I think we will leave this paradise tomorrow on the afternoon high tide and head for the Banks Islands north of us 80 miles away.
That is the plan but we will see.
I will talk to you soon.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Peterson Bay, North East Espiritu Santo

Hello All,
We left Luganville this morning at 1000 to make the 3 hour trip up to Peterson Bay. We were going to leave yesterday but it was very rainy and overcast and I wanted good light to find our way through the reefs to get in here. This morning was a perfect day to go with only partly cloudy skyies. When we arrived we found that the passage through the reefs was actually marked by the little resort that is here. It was a little confusing but once we figured it out it worked out well. The anchorage is completely surrounded by reefs and several Islands and what I didn't know is this is considered a cyclone haven for boats. It is lake like conditions once you get inside and it is one of the most beautiful settings I have seen in awhile. The Oyster Island Resort is here and is a fabulous place with a bar, bungalows and restaurant. There is also a river here that you can go up by dingy a mile and a half and see what is called the Blue Holes. It is the head of the river and natural springs come up out of the ground and form beautiful blue ponds that spill out into the river. We will go check them out tomorrow. I have seen pictures from my guides and it looks like going up a small river in the Amazon.
Just inland from here is the old Air Force base used by the Americans in WWII. I didn't know this until we got here but there was 100,000 troops stationed here. Heaps of history around here so we will take a walk and see the old airfield. You can see it from Google Earth, my position is 15 22.35S 167 11.37E Beautiful place and we are going to look forward to exploring the area in the next few days.
That's all for now.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

WWII Treasures

Hello All,
We have had such a great time here in Luganville. Yesterday we took off in the morning to go find a WWII American base camp close by. As we were walking up the road a taxi stopped and asked where we were going. We told him we were looking for the camp and he told us to get in and he would show us. We told him we were just walking and didn't want to pay for a taxi. He told us to get in, he would do it for nothing. Turns out he lives in the old camp, it is now a village but they kept the American name for the place "Mango Station One". He actually lives in the next camp over from Mango Station One, they call it "Mango Station Two". The U.S. military has such an imagination lol. Anyway Ron, the taxi driver, showed us his home and gave us a small tour of the Mango Stations. A few locals still live in the Quanset Huts that were left over but most are gone now. They really like the Huts because he said they are strong enough for a Cyclone. Ron invited us for dinner and Kava tonight at his home so we agreed and had a wonderful time visiting, he plays the guitar and sings so we were entertained by food and song.
Today we hitched a ride out to Million Dollar Point, where after the war was over the military pushed the equipment that was left over into the water. We snorkeled on it today and you name it, it is down there, trucks, axles, tires, a steel ship, engine blocks, you get the idea. Also, at the point, there are remains of a Bomber that crashed returning from the Solomon's and we were told 3 men died in the crash.
Last night we treated ourselves to a large Pizza with the works on it at the Resort that is in front of the anchorage. Boy was that good, we were loving every bite.
We have had a great time here in Luganville and everywhere we have been in the Island group. Everyone says it is the locals town and they were correct. The place has a really good feel to it and you don't have to go far to be in the sticks, so to speak. I think I have enjoyed it better than Port Vila.
Weather permitting we will leave in the morning for Peterson Bay, 16 miles north of here.
I will keep you posted.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New Photos

Hello All,
I spent hours getting very few photos uploaded to the Vanuatu album so take a look. I only had pictures on the computer from 2 Islands ago so not completely updated but it is something I guess.
We will go snorceling tomorrow so I will let you know how that goes.
It's late and I am heading for bed so I will talk to you soon.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Luganville, Esprito Santo Island, Vanuatu

Hello All,
Our stay at Waterfall Bay Pentecost was awesome. As soon as we arrived there on Saturday we sought out the waterfall with the fresh pool at the bottom that I read about in one of the cruising guides and had a very nice fresh water swim after basking in the sun most of the day. We were on the lee side of the Island and the wind was light which made it very hot and with the volcano smoke from Ambrym Island making a green house I saw 95 degrees with 80% humidity. The water temperature in the sea was the hottest I have seen at 88 degrees. After cooling off we took a walk around and ran into the head master of the school. He invited us to church on Sunday and then a feast where the whole village showed up. They slaughtered a steer for the occasion so there was fresh meat with all of the food. It was a great lunch and got to visit with all of the people there. We were told it was a ceremony for the kids that won a sports championship last weekend in Port Vila. This was the biggest school in Pentecost and covered grades lst through 8th. Most of the kids that go there are from far away villages on the Island so they live there on the school grounds. They only get to go home when there is a break in the semesters and for summer break. We had a very nice visit with the head master over coffee before we left last night.
We made it to Luganville at 1100 this morning. Position is 15 31.34S 167 09.90E. We sailed most of the way with very light winds that moved us about 3 knots. The sea was flat so it was like sailing on a lake. As we got closer and the sun rose the wind died out and I was forced to start up the iron sail for the last 2 hours of the 60 mile trip.
After we got anchored here in Luganville we took a walk to town. Its not a big place but has stores, Banks and some souvenir shops. It is not Port Vila but it is the main port for exporting most of the things that Vanuatu sends to other countries. The Indigenous people of Vanuatu call it the locals town. We Alaskan's can relate to that, huh. We had to check in with customs and immigration today so that's all settled now. I am hoping for good Internet so I can post some pictures for you. I will look into that tomorrow.

Trivia moment:
Luganville was the largest U.S. military outpost South of the Equator in WW2 second to Pearl Harbor. This was the port that supported the war effort in the Solomon Islands. Walking around town I have seen a few quanset huts being used for businesses and heaps of rusting infrastructure from yester year.

There is a point coming in that we passed that is called "Million Dollar Point". After the war was over the U.S. military tried to sell the tanks, jeeps, trucks to the people here, with no takers they bulldozed them all into the water not far from here. It is an awesome snorkel spot I am told and the wreak of the President Coolidge is not far from there but that's more of a tank dive area to see that.
We will be here till Thursday then we will check out some very nice anchorages on the east side of the island. Esprito Santo is the biggest Island of Vanuatu and has lots to offer a cruising boat so we are very excited to be here. I will keep you filled in on the time in the middle as usual.