Vanautu Aug - Oct 08

Oct 8, 2008 #2

I'm doing watch, just finished Grey's Anatony, moon just set and there is a bowl
full of stars. AHHH! Thanks for the birthday wishes. Can't wait to try the
pedicure. 21*28'.842S/167*23'.016E 54.07 miles to go. We're scootin' along at 7.1kt. headed 199*

Priscilla is about 6 miles behind us, we'll let them pass and show us the way
into the pass into Noumea. Adelia is staying in Port Vila until the 18th or so
and do the rally to Australia. Sure did have a good time hanging around Vanuatu
with the 2 boats. We sure did eat good.

Martha


Oct 8, 2008

Yesterday we checked out, got fuel, quick trip to duty free store and pulled
away from Port Vila around 1:00pm headed for New Caledonia. It's a 300 mile
trip, we are about half way (10:50am) 19*55'.074S/167*43'.301E. We're having a
good ride. Not flat calm but managable. The weather is supposed to get bad
around Vanuatu next week. We were hoping to get a straight shot to Australia,
but I guess New Cal is not a bad place to hang for a few days. We will put
SPECIAL BLEND on the hard at Scarborough Marina (near Brisbane) and head home as soon as the weather allows.

We are good, I'm another year older today YUCK! We'll keep you updated on our
progress.


Martha



Oct 6, 2008

As of the moment we are leaving Vanuatu making a stop in New Cal and waiting for a weather window, more update later.


Martha


Oct 3, 3008

Weather not looking so great for us to get out of here the first of the week. Might be looking at another week????
Tomorrow am Adelia and Priscilla are meeting us on Special Blend we are going to another anchorage for the day to do some snorkeling.


Martha


Sept 30, 2008

We pulled anchor last night around 11:00 traveled all day arrived in Port Vila (Efate Island) around 2:45 this afternoon.  17*44'.878S/168*18'.653E  Had a very wild ride. Suzie pulled a weather report and it looked like if we didn't leave last night we'd be stuck in Southwest Bay for a while.  We will be here til we can get a weather window to Australia, maybe a stop in New Cal?????

Jim's ear is still bothering him, he's gone to bed. 7:15pm. He'll probably be rairing to go at 4:00am. He can go to the wifi early, I'll catch you later.

Martha


Sept 28, 2008

We moved this morning about 12 miles south for a little smoother anchorage. During the night the wind changed and we did a rock and roll all night. Still at Malakula Island.

Metenovor Bay (Southwest Bay) 16*29'.469S/167*25'.973E.  We will be here 1 or 2 nights. Weather changed a little so we're gonna hold up. Another incredible place. A bay with not much wind at the moment. I think I'll get another day of snorkeling in YEAH FOR ME!

Jim is suffering with an ear. Not diving any more.  ME just doing good, one big bruise. 

Martha


Sept 27, 2008

We certainly are enjoying ourselves  in this beautiful place.  Our plans are to leave here on the 29th do an overnight back to Port Vila, spend whatever time we need to prepare Special Blend and get the weather right then head straight to Australia. No New Cal this year! Pout-pout!

Vanuatu has been an unexpected delight. Our part of the world is sure missing out not seeing this. I do think we will revisit this next season, Adelia has the same thoughts. Think Tom and Suzie still plan to go on around the world. We're just not done here yet. I need more snorkel time.  INCREDIBLE!! My camera is still going. Tom had me coat the openings with silicone, so I have extend the life for a while. It ain't pretty, but it's working. It's an addiction, and a challenge! Never know what jumps in front of the camera when you shoot. I've got some good stuf!

Martha






















Tall Ship  "Soran Larson"

Sept 25, 2008


We are still inTavendrua, Dixon Reef. It has been a great place, Fishing (catching),  snorkeling, cooking on the beach, just enough of the local people to make it interesting with out being overwhelming. All the mangos we can eat and some kind of squash (pumpkin) more than we want to eat. We have decided this is one of the places we all came to see. Adelia and Priscilla are still here too. Every day we say "are we leaving tomorrow" none of us are ready yet.
We are good just worn out, our day starts before 7am, 1 or 2 fishing trips, 2 snorkel trips (usually), we all get together for dinner and by 7:30pm or so everyone heads home. I think Tom and Suzie are in bed by the time they get in their door.

Holly thanks for the turtle info. I didn't see them in the water today while swimming but some of the others did. I DID see a white tip shark about 6 ft. AND we saw a cuddle fish, they sure are funky looking, cross between a squid and octopus, and it would change colors when we approached.

Martha


Sept 24, 2008

Hey, it's a beautiful day in paradise, Jim got off the phone and went fishing. The wind is down and no clouds. I hope my camera will last thru today. Got some incredible pix of the coral yesterday. When I opened the camera it was all gooey and rusty, but cleaned it and it's working???? Denise's same camera has already died. You all would LOVE this place, who knows we may come back to Vanuatu. Will see what all happens when we get home.... economy and all.

The village chief just paddled his dug-out to the boat brought me a BIG BAG full of mangoes. Real little, but very tasty. We went from NONE to way too many. OH wll, thats life isn't it. Also (I think) invited us to a customs dance and sand drawings. They speak French here and very little English. I told him to come back when Jim was here. He wanted to come on board and wait..........been there, done that. NOT!!!

Holly now the question is.... how long after the mating does the female wait to lay eggs. The boats in Dixon Reef anchorage (all 3) want to know?  I did get one or two great pix of that also. What a show, I had a birds eyey view from the fly bridge.

Martha


Sept 23, 2008

Tom called us about 7:00am to tell us we had turtles romping and making babies off our starboard side. I has been very overcast so I don't know if I got any good pix.  Dixon Reef has been a delightful place, Jim and Kip are out in the dink snapper fishing. Snorkel trip later. My little underwater camera is not acting right, I am holding my breath it doesn't die.

Last night we had a cookout on the beach, a couple of locals and their dogs joined us. I think the plans are to head out tomorrow, I could stay here a while longer. Don't want this moment in time to go away to quickly.

Holly which of the turtles is the bigger..... male or female?

Martha


Sept 21, 2008

We are back to the Island of Malakula on the West side  in Malua Bay. Very small village, I think the chief said there were 6 families here about 30 kids in the school. We gave them some school supplies, needle and thread, and tried to get them some fish with no luck. But, the snorkeling here was great. Beautiful cuts in the coral and very alive. No eating fish that we found.
Tomorrow we are moving south, will be working our way back to Port Vila.

Most things are good on the Special Blend, still have a fresh water leak cannot find. Jim and I are good and that's an important thing.

Martha

Sept 20, 2008

We have had a couple of nice days, done some snorkeling on a little patch reef right off the boat. Good fish. Today Jim took me out, anchored the dink read his book for almost 2 hours while I drained the battery in the camera. Couple of really nice pix. This afternoon we played at the pool and had dinner on Priscilla. Now we are really ready for some sleep. We have loaded the dink and will leave here in the morning headed back to Malakula different side. This has been a fun place. The Aore resort is real nice, good restaurant, nice pool, very decent bungalows. They said a couple of travel agents in the states promote them

Christy the Soran Larson pulled into Luganville a day or so ago. Talked with some of the crew and they remembered us from Touau. Different Capt.

Martha

Sept 18, 2008

at 6:30 am we pulled anchor from Oyster Island (Peterson's Lagoon) it was high tide, the pass is a bit hairy, cannot do it anywhere low tide.  once thru the pass the currant and swells were a challenge for a bit. We are safe and sound in Luganville, Aore Resort, Aore Island, on Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu.. 15*32'.131S/167*10'.924E       WHEW!! that's a mouth full.

After we got a mooring ball and checked in with the resort  we took the ferry across the bay to town. one street, many Chinese shops, and a veggie market. Did get bread, eggs, tomatoes (little ones) red and green peppers, lettuce, OH! and beer.. Jim made his great fajitas for dinner. YUM!!

Tomorrow Jim, Kip, Tom and Suzie are going to dive the SS President Coolidge. She was a luxury liner before the war, converted into a troop transport ship, and brought US troops to New Hebrides (Vanuatu's name until 1980 when they became independent from the French and British). The Coolidge hit a friendly mine and sank, and is fully intact in 25-70 meters of water. The worlds largest most accessible wreck.  Another dive site is the Million Dollar Point. When time came to pull the troops out of New Hebrides the Americans offered all the machinery and equipment to the government, they didn't want to pay thinking the Americans would leave it anyway. NOT! The US just dumped the whole lot in the ocean. Bottles of coke, trucks, jeeps, tanks and all.
I will do some snorkeling around and have a look from the top.

We will be here a few days and then start working our way back south. Should be in Australia by the first of November. Secure Special Blend at Scarborough Marina then be on our way home about the middle of the month.

Martha


Sept 16, 2008

These are some pix of Oyster Bay, Santo, Vanuatu. This place had US airbase in WWII lot of wrecks, and old airstrip, is in bad shape. will give you a history lesson later.

Martha












The WIFI Tiki












Sept 15, 2008

We had no wifi today, so no scype. Denise and I have played with pictures, and Jim Tom and Kip have been working on ropes. We are getting ready to make a trip up a river to the blue hole.

It is windy, rain on and off. Maybe we'll snorkel later but not good conditions.

Martha


Sept 13, 2008

Very wet day here, Jim is feeling better, he had a good nights sleep. Yesterday ran some fever. Rairing to go today. He's been trying to get to shore to the wifi, but too much rain.

We should be here for a few more days, then on up to the next anchorage.

Martha


Sept 12, 2008

We are 15*22'.719S/167*11'.421E Espiritu Santo. This side of the island has small groups of island  within a few miles. Very much like Tonga. We will start to explore them tomorrow. We left at 2:00am arrived here around 10:45am, I got some sleep Jim didn't. His tummy wasn't doing good. Tom and Denise have had something also. I guess we're all going to share it......yeah! We hear there is cold beer and wifi here. Can't always believe what you hear about these places, Denise is headed to check it all out. She is pretty much our cruise director. One thing I know for sure. It's really hot!!

Martha


Sept 12, 2008

We are at Ambe Island, Vanihe Bay 15*16'.577S/167*58'.430E, steep cliffs, black sand beaches, no village right here, VERY rolly anchorage. Jim is going to sleep for a while then we are going to head out for Peterson's Lagoon at Santo Island. It's the biggest island in the Vanuatu chain. Maybe has stores and wifi????? Will be a several hour run.
On our way here today we caught a mahi-mahi and yellow fin tuna. Jim put the mahi on the back deck and while he was reeling in the tuna, he said "where's the other fish?"  "Well Jim I don't know!" I said. Seems it went out under the side door. It has a flap to let the water drain out. WELL a fish can also go out.

We're good, had everyone over here for dinner tonight. We had all local stuff, fish,green beans, toro leaf (something like a cross between spinach and collards.) and cristifens.  We'll se how everyone's stomache is tomorrow.

Martha


Sept 10, 2008

Jim just returned from dingy fishing 10:45am, a nice wahoo, he said it was the conciliation prize. The big marlin got away!! They were not even a mile off the island. He and Kip are all smiles. Jim had to go in for a dive cause they dropped it getting out of the dingy.
FISH FOR DINNER!! head and left overs to the village.
More from Jim later I'm sure!

Martha


Sept 10. 2008

Jim is out fishing and I am listening to the water fall behind me and looking about 10miles across the ocen to another moutain island group, pretty impressive. Will snorkel a little later...10:25am here.

Martha


Sept 9, 2008

New location 15*22'.595S/168*07'.935E Asanvari Bay, Maewo Island. another beautiful anchorage, water so clear, a water fall within 100 yards of the beach. Snorkeled this morning before we left Penecost think I got THE fish picture. Have gotten pretty good with the underwater camera. Jim says I am the snorkel queen! We snorkeled again this afternoon when we arrived here. Had Suzie, Denise and Kip for dinner. Tom was not feeling well. We might stay here another day, we'll see what the morning brings. All of these island are a day or less to get to. We all just realized we are going to run out of time if we stay too long in one place.  New Cal might have to wait til next year.

Martha


Sept 8, 2008

Pentecost Island, Batnavni Anchorage. OH MY! first thing we did yesterday was jump in the water, it is clear as a bell. Saw fish I haven't seen before. Lauri, blue star fish again! 3 different kinds of anemonefish (clown type) many colonies of them, and something called an Oriental Sweetlips. Acres of coral, walls, ledges from a few feet to as deep as you want  to go. AWSOME!!! The native kids met us as we came in, Jim gave them some fish hooks, in an hour or so we had fresh veggies, papaya and bananas.

7:30am Tom and Jim headed out in the dink to fish, fishing has not been good lately. It is pouring rain every few minutes and then sunshine, but it's NOT cold. We are back to the tropical weather patterns. This is a good spot to sit for a few days and let it do whatever.

Martha


Sept 7, 2008

Ambrym Island, Ranom Anchorage 16*08'.549S/168*07'.000E coarse black sand and clear water, Douglas came to the boat to welcome us and invite us to the village. We got to shore and were led to the tourist information center. We quickly learn there was nothing we could do on this island by ourselves. They wanted to set up "tours" for everything.Disappointing! Did get to buy onons and peanuts. During dinner on SPECIAL BLEND last night, Our party of 6 decided to move on. So we are headed to Pentecost Island, Batnavni Anchorage.

We are good, I'm sorry we didn't stay longer 2 islands back where the snorkeling was so good. Maybe something better to come.

Hope the storms are stearing clear of you, let us know.

Martha


Sept 6, 2008

Yesterday afternoon we cooked on the beach with ADELIA and PRISCILLA, such a beautiful place.PRISCILLA rafted to us this AM to take on water, their water maker is sick. We are moving to Ambyrm Island as we speak, it has a double active volcano, very hard to get to. Sure we want make the 4 hour trek to this one. Jim's hip is gotten real bad. Did hours of snorkeling yesterday got some incrediable fish pix. Some of my best. Sun was good. scorched my bum! Sitting ightly today :)

Martha


Sept 6, 2008

We're good having fun with PRISCILLA and ADELIA. Will move on tomorrow to another island. weather today little too iffy to do a crosing, just 25 miles though but no need to get our backside bashed.
Headed out to snorkel, it's really pretty, still not as pretty as Tonga.

Martha


Sept 5, 2008

Yesterday we were invited to THE wedding. Also ask to bring cake! My first thought no problem I'll bake my fruit cobbler thing. 2nd thought was how are they going to serve it, 3rd was how are they going to eat it. MESSY WITH NO FORKS OR SPOONS! So we started thinking about CAKE!  Had flour, no eggs. thats out!  SOOO I scrounged around found blueberry muffin mix, Aunt Jamima pancake mix, both just required water. Had local bananas. Mixed all together and baked. Needles to say was a little dry, started looking for something to dress it up and add moisture. Suzie had powdered sugar and we had a lemon. mixed that up, swirled on top  TA-DA CAKE!
The walk to the village is about a mile, 1st half is the beach, last is on the "road" The more we walk the more moist this "cake" gets, it's a little humid. Mary meets us as we enter the village. she says, "for the couple?" In a very shy Martha Stewart fashion I smile and say yes! knowing this thing probably taste like s#*t.
Mary ask me to sit with the ladies, and brings me my own mat, in front of the nursing Mothers and snotty nose kids. We are across the "road" from the church. The kids want to get close and touch the white lady. I take pictures and smile. I ask how long will the service be...1 hour! All of a sudden every one in the church claps, wedding over!  I was told I could go over to the church and take pictures.
Kip and Denise exit the church, Kip got to witness the signing of the papers. Denise was the official photographer. They had arrived early.
Brides and grooms exit. It was a double wedding. NO ONE WAS SMILING!!!  EVERYONE has white stuf all over them. The women start wrapping the grooms with pieces of fabric and dusting them with baby powder. The pieces of cloth were gifts, never did understand the powder, had something to do with good, bad, cleansing???????




















Benches were brought out of the church, wedding party facing out, 2 benches on either side. we were ask to sit on the right one.
CUTTING OF THE CAKE!!  There was one official wedding cake a 3 tier sliding something. Then the women passed out the cut pieces. Our concoction was served to the wedding party. HOPE THEY DIDN"T GET SICK!
(Martha did not take a pic of her "CAKE")






Live music was going on, dusting of the powder, a guy was cooking a cow in a big pot.





Know it was a cow cause head to the hooves hung in the tree next to the cook house. We wandered around swatting flies, talking with the chief, recognizing some of yesterdays dancers, (hard to tell, they had on cloths)
Finally we decided we had stayed long enough, had all the local flavor we could handle for one day and excused ourselves. Chief kept saying, can't leave party hasn't started. We were afraid they were going to start serving cow head, and other things we really didn't want to sample. So be bowed our way out and went snorkeling.

4:30 this morning could still hear the party going on. Never did see the brides and grooms touch or even look at each other. Guess they were not happy with the "arrangement"



Jim, Tom, and Kip.....I hope this is as "Native" as they go!

Sept 3, 2008

We had a jam packed day. 10:00am we met John in the village, he took us on an hour walk up to the waterfalls.  Not breath taking but very nice. Jim didn't make it all the way. He walked back to a village and got a politics lecture. This one man wants to write a letter to our president asking for help!! Back to the boat for lunch and Jim put dinner on. Then we went back into the village for a dance show, YEP!!! palm fron penis wraps and bare boobies. Got video!  Men and women dance separate (different locations) Can't wait to share all this with you. Tomorrow we have been invited to a double wedding. They have ask us to bring "cake" wonder if one of my microwave chocolate snacks would do?  Tonight we had PRISCILLA & ADELIA for dinner. Time to go to bed.

Martha



















Sept 2, 2008

Moved north about 12 miles. Banam Bay. Still Malakula Island. Looks like might be a good snorkel area. Going to have a little blow so we'll be here for a day or so. Priscilla and Adelia are here also. Hope they got fish, no luck for us.

Martha

Sept 1 , 2008

We traveled last night about 90nm north 16*26'.599S/167*46'.941E. Malakula Island, Port Sandwich Anchorage.  Book says and I quote "DO NOT GO SWIMMING, NOT TO EVEN CHECK YOUR ANCHOR" Sharks are bad here, they dump slaughtered cattle carcasses into the bay. It is a good place to stay out of the wind.

Tomorrow morning we will head to another anchorage.  ADELIA and PRISCILLA are here and will leave also.

Was good to get back home, last night was not our smoothest passage, Jim's version is always different than mine, but we're here safe and sound.

Martha


Aug 29, 2008

Good News

I really did like the Doctor I saw, very thorough, my glaucoma pressure was really good. What I have is a posterior vitreous detachment. can look it up on line, he said not to believe everything everyone says about it. Retina looked good no need for any repair. Did say not to be alarmed if the other eye also did thing at some point. He said the light flashes would get better soon but the floaters might be there a while.  Good news, I can stay on the boat and not worry, he also said if the flashes got real bad and lot of floaters again, to come back and see him. Thats not going to happen!!!
 
I'm going to take the ferry into Auckland sometime before noon. "Fish hook shopping" Angela has classes to teach, so I get the day to myself. Then I'll take them to dinner tomorrow night, and fly out noon on Saturday. Can't wait to get back to the boat.

Martha


Aug 29, 2008

mom ok, bunch high sounding names of what shes got but no surgery and will heal.

dad


Aug 27, 2008

Hello from Auckland

Hi I am at the lounge at Bayswater marina, Angela is on her way to pick me up, 100:00am Thurs. My appoitment is 4:20 this afternoon. I am a little anxious. Ready for it to be over.

Took Peter to dinner then  I went to Angela's belly dancing class last night, she teaches. Enjoyed it very much, looks like fun. 

I'll let you know what I find out later, either by phone or email. Spent $16.00 trying to call Iridium yesterday.

Martha


Aug 26, 2008

we are at the pizza place, free wifi!  I leave in the morning at 7:00am arrive around noon in Auckland. See the Dr Thurs (our Thurs) will let Dad know about things, he can email you.I will be staying on the N-47.

Martha


Aug 25, 2008

Hello it's Monday, I am flying to Auckland on Wed morning 7am. Peter Mott N-47 made me an appt with a retina specialist for Thurs. I will be staying on their boat "Southern Star"  Feell a little silly doing this, but I need to be sure my eye is ok! still seing flashes at night and the floaters have gotten worse, AND every one keeps telling me I have a torn retina  SO to be safe and not sorry I'm going to have it checked right.  Jim is staying here in Port Vila. Has gotten a weeks worth of wifi so he'll be on in the mornings. OR WHEN EVER!!

Pix are sunset at the Tririki Resort happy hour.



Martha


Aug 25, 2008

Hey, hope your having a good Sunday. We're good. Still looking for our fresh water leak. Tom says he thinks he might have an idea. It is HOT this am. no wind, no clouds. Hope to get to an area soon we can snorkel. I'm ready to take pictures of fish.  Special Blend is clean and shiny, we had her waxed, labor here is very cheap.

Martha


Aug 24, 2008

Hello from Port Vila, my plans were to get to the wifi early and scype with you all. No wifi on Sunday!  Market closed, all stores, maybe this afternoon things will open. A big cruise ship came in today. We can't believe what a tourist place this is. Next week there is a travel expo here. Some people have told us Fiji was dead, but this place is hopping.

I tried yesterday to send video of the volcano... no go!  Sizie has it on her web site. get jealous.com search for Tom and Suzie It's worth looking up, maybe you can pull it off her site like I did the fish and whale video off ADELIA's.

We're having a good time, lot of boaters we have seen before, nice to be able to go to 5:00 happy hour at the Tririki Resort, dinner at the Waterfront. or just sit on the boat, once we leave here it will be grass huts again. Clint and Adair "EMANUEL" are here, we met them in Suwarrow. They are from Gainesville, so we got to GOOOO Gators with them. He is a doctor (ortho sug), she is a vet. Last night he ask Jim about his hip, limp has gotten real bad. All agreed new hip was in order. First thing on Jim's list when he gets home! My foot is good, eye about the same.

Hope the storm is gone by now.
We have been having some trouble receiving email on ocens..... hope you are getting all of ours. Hard to tell. we contacted ocens, they said we needed to update the service, that ours was a year and half old. duh!! for some reason we cannot connect to the internet anymore on this computer. Guess it will come home with us, screen or no screen.

Martha


Aug 22, 2008

Hey sounds like you've had some badly needed rain, now it's time to stop.

I've had some issues with my left eye. after the Mr toads wild ride I had some floaters then started seeing flashes of light at night. We came to Port Villa because they had Drs here. I saw a Chinese eye Doctor on Wed she spoke very little English, did say no torn retina, but every one kept saying didn't sound right..... so I called Dr Lucas this morning (1am)  he got on the phone right away He said something was torn, didn't think it was the retina, but gave me some things to watch out for. Am going to see how it is thru the weekend. If were aren't comfortable with how it's doing, I fly to Auckland and have it checked. Peter and Angela (47 Nord) know everyone and could get me an appoitment. Not going to worry about it unless things change.

Jim has 3 guys waxing the boat today $100,00 vatu a day ($10.00 US)  Tonight we are having a fish fry. WISH YOU WERE HERE!!

Martha


Aug 22, 2008

we are just hanging out with adelia and priscilla, great place, probably best place we have been to, small town, but everyting here, good food good entertainment, neat bars and restaurants. 10 miles away live in thatch huts. hiring boys to wax boat today, 1000 vt (10$) per day. i suppose we will leave in day or two and ease down the island chain, will come back here to fuel and pick up packages before australia crossing. life is good

Jim

go gators


Aug 21, 2008

We are having a bit of a blow this am. nothing bad though
We had no idea this little town would be so nice. can by most anything. Lot of duty free stores, but we have to be checked out then go back to buy. Sure we want bother. Haven't gotten the laptop to the wifi yet.....later.

Martha


Aug 21, 2008

Port Villa is a real little city. Lot of island charm, couple of nice resorts, we have gone for happy hour twice, had really good lunches and dinner. Tonight we had Mexican, Jim was in heaven. The weather has not gotten bad yet, tomorrow! We have had a few boat issues, generator quit last night, it was a fuse. Jim and Tom rigged one til we can get another from NZ. Our toilet has gone caputs, TOMORROW!! Also have a fresh water leak we cannot find.

How did you fair the storm? When will Holly head back to the Keys? How much damage if any did they get in the Keys?

Sure do miss you all lots, give us an update on everything. I think we might be able to scype in a day or so, will let you know.

Martha


Aug 18, 2008

We are on the island of Efate at Port Villa 17*44'.446S/168*18'.708E. Tom and Suzie are anchored next to us, Adelia is just around the Bay. They had dinner with us tonight at one of the local restaurants. REALLY good food.
Our plans are to be here for a few days. Maybe we can go into the internet cafe and scype. No wifi to the boat. I do want to send you some pix.

Miss all of you much, let us hear about the storm and the Olympics.

Martha


Aug 18, 2008

Pulled anchor at 3:am UGH! having a good day. Jim has already lost a big dolphin (mahi) Tom has one small on board. Suzie has put bubblie in the fridge to celebrate the 41st.

Keep us updated on the Florida storm. All of you stay safe. That might just upset the first couple days of school.

We are 18*11'.319S/168*33'.955E heading 336* 6.4kt and fishing!

Martha


Aug 17, 2008

We are anchored in the bay at Erromango, no mangoes though. We are headed out very early tomorrow morn to Port Villa. Weather is supposed to close in on us in a couple of days. So we're going to beat it there. Probably will sit for a few days.

We had fresh mahi and yellow fin tuna for dinner. Jim had a marlin on and lost it. Nice day at sea!

All is well here, tomorrow the 18th is our 41st anniversary, nothing special planned. OPS, forgot we're doing a South Sea Cruise .

Martha


Aug 17, 2008

We were up at 5:30am, (you know how I l-o-v-e that)  pulled anchor and slid away from the bay. It has been one of those perfect days on the water,  not much wind, big rolling swells, and Jim caught a fish not a real big one, but a nice gallon bag full. Priscilla got the first fish so yeah they have to cook! We are within 8 miles of Erromango.  This island has some nice size mountains, supposed to be a bit more rugged coast line.

We enjoyed Port Resolution so much the people were so friendly. Can't say they were poor, they had the basics. Plenty of fresh veggies, the volcanic soil will grow anything. It is so black and fine it squeaks. They have pigs, cows, horses and chickens. They don't seem to fish much, no power boats, only the dug out canoes they paddle. They do get around great in those.

The children all seem happy, clothing is an option for the young ones. didn't see a single sole in shoes there, but in Lenakel some (few) had tennis shoes. Does seen like a place a good clothing drive would be a benefit.

The peace Corp is there helping out with water and some electric, cell phones are a biggie. Telecom and digicel. They have nothing BUT some do have a phone.... go figer!

It would be a great place to get away from IT ALL and see the real deal as far as the Pacific Island goes. check out a Melanesian bungalow, electricity in the evenings, a communal shower and flush toilet
portresolution@vanuatu.com.vu  we met several people staying there and loving it.

We also met a couple the are legally blind sailing around the world.
http://www.blindsailing.com/ they are from California. I do worry about them.

At the moment we are 18*55'.266S/168*59'.844E should be anchored in a couple of hours. It's 12:00 noon here. 9:00pm your time.

Martha


Aug 16, 2008

Tomorrow we are headed to  Erromango Island "land of mangos" geeze I hope so, don't think it's the season though. It's the next island north of Tanna. Tonight we are anchored at the Black Sand Beach in Tanna. Tom and Suzie are with us.  We are still in awe over the volcano. Today we had another look at it from a different angle. Still is awsome!! It was a beautiful day on the water, a perfect sunset and an almost full moon tonight. Good friends, good food, can't get any better.

Martha


Aug 15, 2008

Yasur Volcano

This evening we climbed in the back of the pickup truck again, this time we went to the volcano. OH MY!! I never expected the show we saw.  The ground rumbled and shook, hot embers shot hundreds of feet in the air. Luckily none of the hot rock came in our direction. We took  the truck up most of the way, then we climbed the ash up several hundred more yards. It was hard to tell just how far down the lava was from the rim, but all I can say .... it was spectacular! I did get some good pix, carried my tripod up but it was too dark to see where to set it up and there was not much room., Beside I sure didn't want to slip. This is something we will never forget.

This afternoon before our volcano trip we had Tom and Suzie, also Patrick, Nellie and their kids from the nearby village over to lunch. I felt so bad for her (Nellie) she got sick from the movement on the boat. They had wanted to cook for us on the beach tomorrow afternoon, but we are leaving in the morn to go to another bay about 6 miles North of here.

We are good, beat to death from the truck rides, Disney doesn't have a single ride that can compare to these "roads".

Martha


Aug 14, 2008

SOOOOOO Tired

Hey, just a short note, we went to Lenakel to customs, immigration and agrilculture today to do all our paper work.   It was a 2 hour ride one way (48K) over and thru the moutains around the base of the Yasur Volcano moutain.  We were covered in ash. Oh! Did I mention we were in the BACK of a pickup truck?
More about "Mr Toads Wild Ride" later. Holly and Brad. Nuka Hieva can't hold a candle to this.

Off to sleep.....tomorrow

Martha

Aug 13, 2008

Today is rainy, ash from the volcano is blowing in this direction, not real heavy though.

To answer Brad no I did not drink the kava, on this island women are not even allowed to witness it. Jim and Tom had to go off the beaten path back in the woods to the kava shack! THANK GOSH, I don't think I could have done it. Tom and Jim are very surprised at themselves for going thru with it. I know in Fiji Denise (ADELIA) did partake in the ceremony.
(Read all about it in The Captain's Log #6)

Hey girls there is a "RESORT" here on the island. little primative not the Hilton, but there is one here. I did take pictures for you. Not sure how long we are staying at this Bay, ADELIA will be here on Friday, just not sure what Bay they plan to check in. I didn't realize Vanuatu was so big, I thought it was just one island, there are 90 something. I think we will spend our whole time just doing these islands.

We are good a little sore from all our walking the last day or so. Lot of advil!!
CHRISTY did we have a case of Coors light somewhere or did we have to toss it out? I thought we had some... maybe not.

Martha


Aug 12, 2008

Day One

what a great day, Jim and Tom were out first thing this morning to fix the generator in the village. then we walked across the island to a "restaurant" on the beach to have lunch, now mind you it's not like any restaurant you might have in mind. thatched hunt and a propane stove, no screens on the windows, dirt floor. a truck brought some people from the local "hotel" over to share lunch with us. I did pass on the water being served. We had lobster, taro,  kumra, and papaya. sitting on benches over looking the ocean. Very picturesque!  On our way back to the boat we visited the village to find the generator not working again. I took pictures and Tom worked again on the broken thing. Jim had gone to find Stanley about our customs check-in MAYBE the officials will be here tomorrow.

Tonight we had dinner with Tom and Suzie, yellow fin tuna Tom caught right off the entrance to Port Resolution Bay. This  bay was named after James Cook's vessel HMS Resolution. He came in here in 1774 following the great glow of the Yasur volcano. We are going to go up there in a day or two to get a closer look.  It is the worlds most accessible volcano.  This island is the real deal, not like a Disney adventure.......Jim is in heaven.

Martha


Aug 11, 2008

Monday August 11, 10:00am Vanuatu time (+11 UTC) we pulled into the bay in Tanna, Vanuatu. Tom and Suzie (PRISCILLA) talked us in on the vhf radio and came aboard to help us get anchored. First thing, we put the new dingy in the water and Jim is running circles around the bay. Tonight is a pig roast on the beach. As I write a local in a canoe is here to bring us fresh fruit.

We are safe, tired, and ready to see what this area has to offer. OH! the volcano greeted us with large poofs of black smoke, the moutain off our port has steam vents. Tom and Suzie say there has been loud noises for the last few days, Locals say the low clouds are the reason the sound is loud right now-----haven't heard any yet..

Much love to all, thanks for all the support on our journey.
Martha



Aug 10, 2008

We are there.  We are running along coast.  Tom to come off anchorage and show us the way in.   It was rough last night and this morning, admiral not happy.
That volcano has big bunch of black smoke coming out, like they are supposed to.  Not like the ones where they show you the steam vents.  I thought it was erupting, but on radio they say that is how it is normally.

Gotta go wake up the admiral and land this thing.

Jim


Aug 10, 2008

There yet?

Almost, 107 miles to go will arrive monday morning. now at 21*12' x 169* 55'e, good following sea, would be beating us up if we had to go in to it.  Great passage, only couple days discomfort.  We had to burn more fuel than anticipated to get away from nz before that next low arrived, but that's ok.   All systems working and word has it that yellowfin jumping in the boat right off Tanna.  We smell fresh tuna on the barbee tomorrow.
jim and martha


Aug 10, 2008

6:30 AM

Tropical weather has finally arrived.  We made good time during the night, was a bit rough but the waves are behind us pushing us along. YEA!  22hours 08min49sec to go. The sun is out helps give a better feel to things. Last night just before the half moon set, around 2am it was red, have never seen anything like it. At first I thought the sun was rising, then realized it wasn't that time of day. No pix to show of that unfortunately. Wasn't a tripod moment.

Martha


Aug 9, 2008

We're having a good night, 11:30pm  Sat,  doing about 7.5 kt at 1700rpm.   Little rocky but not bad.  We're getting excited, ready to see what Vanuatu has to offer. 220.9nm to go

I have been catching up on last season Greys Anatomy. thanks Holly!

Martha


Aug 9, 2008

The admiral perked up, we're back in shorts and t shirts, the way man is supposed to live.  We actually ran a/c today for nap time.  Seas are flat.  What little wind is pushing Special Blend.  Only 279 miles to go, landfall Monday morning.  Position at 2pm nz is 24*58' X 170* 45' E.  Planning bbq this evening.
Life is good on special blend

Jim


Aug 9, 2008

Been a bit slow going but we're gettin' there. 45hours42min37s to go. Today hasn't been bad.  We're doing good, my stomach has been a bit uneasy, but I'm managing my watch.  We have a pretty good schedule VERY flexible!

We talked to Kosmos last night on SAT phone. they are in Turkey might see them when they hit the Caribbean in Dec. Tom and Suzie are waiting for us to arrive, we should see them late day on Monday. They said they have had volcano ash on their boat, Peace Corp guy said it usually doesn't blow in that direction. We should really have a mess mixed with our diesel exhaust. OH WELL give us something to do. :)  can't wait to see the active volcano.  Today I have on short pants, a first since we got here in May.  Think we're going to have a coat burning on Jim and Brad's jackets they did all the boat work in.

Martha


8-8-08

This afternoon,  we can at least move around the boat. I have bruises on top of bruises. We have the generator going, washing cloths, making water---- I'm happy!

26*26'.796S/171"33'.496E  436.3nm to go. 6.5kt @ 1800rpm. little better than during the night. Seas are getting a little more defined, not so wishie washie. Maybe we'll sleep better tonight.

Thanks for all the emails, makes us smile to see them.
til tomorrow, much love to all
Martha


Aug 7, 2008

Hold On

It has been a rock and roll day, and I don't mean Elvis music! Wind is up a bit, sea is like a washing machine, and we've had clouds and rain. Only doing 4.7kt @ 1700rpm. One of those days you just pick a spot and stay there--- sleep or read.

28*38'.993S/172*09'.070E heading 344* 569.5nm to Vanuatu.

Martha had to head to the back of the bus, so i'll finish. All is well and if we could stay out of these currents that hold us to nz we would make more headway. About 150 miles/day is ok, had hoped for more.

jim


Aug 6, 2008

Had a good night today is beautiful, still cool,  no wind to speak of, NO RAIN!!
30*56'.493S/172*51'.087E  712.8nm to go, we covered around 150nm again.  we are traveling 6.4kt at 1700rpms. 

We have had a great 24 hours, the night wa wonderful, we had stars and part of a moon. We both slept good, got the boat organized, also able to do a few chores. Brad found your Zorb towel, will bring it when we come. Going to give your tennis shoes to some native that will enjoy them, haven't had the jacket burning yet:) Glad you made it home safe.

I am feeling better today, 3rd day is always a charm and the fact that the sun is out always makes us feel better, we do hope the fair weather continues for several more days. Tom and Suzie are already there waiting for us. It will be so good to see them.

Special Blend is doing great so is the crew.

til tomorrow,
Martha


Aug 5, 2008

we are at 33*18' South X 173*41'East. wind out of south SSW 16 kn, good roll out of previous low, but not bad, we have to get our sea legs back. Made 150 miles first 24 hours out of harbor, had to really stand it to make 6 knots, I guess reverse current.  We are doing better today, been running close to 7 knots while seas not real bad. Be Glad to get to Vanuatu.

All is well on the Specialblend.  Especially since Meemaw got call from Brad that he was safely in LA.

Jim


Aug 4, 2008

We are off

We checked out and left Whangarei today, Monday 4th around 2:00pm. it's 5:39, seas are good, not much wind at the moment.  Jim's had a nap so all is good.
We are 35*33'.556S/174*36'.188E.   1007nm to Vanautu. we're traveling 349* at  6.5kt

we'll update tomorrow,
Martha and Jim