Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Banks Islands - Gaua island (Santa Maria)

We all enjoyed the sailing north from Port Orly (NE tip of Santo) to the Banks Islands.  First stop Gaua Island (Santa Maria) at Lacona Bay SW corner.  The sail was fair and seas tame.  Departed 0630 hrs and arrived Lacona 1430hrs.  Chief Henry and family were out on canoes to meet the fleet.  7 yachts in total .  Simply Sensational were a couple of days ahead of us further north at Lusalava. From Lacona Bay we sailed north to Lusalava entering the anchorage through two Reef breaks.  Crystal clear water, wonderful calm anchorage. We unpacked much of the donated goods including 250 new school back packs to deliver to LusaLava primary school and trekked up to the school with head teacher Patricia. Greatfully receiving the back packs the children sang some beautiful songs to us to thank us.
We spent the afternoon washing hair and applying Head lice Gel on children and adults alike.  Alan attended to clinic issues of flu and joint problems etc.
We visited Jacobeth and Marks small village home, led by son Isaac situated on a high rocky cliff face with a vista view of more of the Banks Islands we will be heading for in the next day or so. Continuing on the bush trail to Jacobeths garden.  We ate watermelon and were gifted Paw Paw, shallots& Island cabbage.
A sad moment for Alan and I when visiting Lusalava at Chief William and Bessies village.  We learned that Chief William died in November last year.  We have visited them 3 years running and have been welcomed and loved each time.  We will remember him.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Aeise and Oyster Island East Coast Santo

In convoy passing through the reef at Oyster Island
First stop.........Aeise Island.  Crystal clear water.  Great snorkelling.  Good to be en route again.
Next stop Oyster Island required us all to wait for the incoming least half to full to negotiate the shallow pass.  7 yachts entered in a great in line flotilla !! Once arrived at Oyster one comment made by another yachtie already anchored and out fishing at the time of our approach " Here arrives one Yacht..........hang on theres 7 !!! Great night ashore for Sundowners had by all.  Friday a lay day for some and a final repair day and stowage day for us in particular ! Another beautiful day in Paradise........Today is calm water and sunshine and we are flanked by coconut palms and sandy beaches.  Robyn from Tradewinds III rowed ashore before sunrise to happily snap once again......I think we should adopt her as the official Rally on the blog to come when we have faster service !!

Will update again soon
Debra - "Divine Wind"

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Arrived , resting and replenishing until departing for Banks Islands

9 Yachts have arrived in Luganville after a eventful weather wise passage
All well and preparing for our Rally north to The Banks and Torres Islands.  Departure starting Thursday 2nd June.
Skippers Presentation &Celebration
The Welcome celebration on Saturday 28th was a great success. The weather a picture perfect day.  Displays of Banks Island Custom Dancers, The Ladies Water music, String band and Pentecose Island Custom dance displays were enjoyed by all.  Initially all Yacht skippers were welcomed with  Salu Salu and fresh coconut juice. Presentation of certificate of completion of the rally and a traditional carved Tam Tam with a hand painted Lava Lava was presented by our Aore Island Yacht club committee and friends.
Yachties assembled for presentation at Paradise Lodge

Tuesday we all participated in a tour of one of the Copra Mills -COPSL.  From the arrival of the hand dug coconut in large potatoe sacks to seeing the final coconut oil and dried coconut used for cattle feed in Australia, NZ and even vietnam was very interesting.

Stowing of donated goods for the remotes and stocking of the gally stores along with some repairs needed after the passage has been filling the past few days for all and sundry
Banks Is custom dancers

Our venture north tomorrow will start with our first anchorage at Aeise Island and then on to Oyster Island, Port Orly and then NE to our first stop in the Banks Islands of Gaua Island at Lacona Bay.  Our intention is to be at Rah Island by 10th June for a very exciting and welcoming celebration on Saturday 11th June

More to come.......................

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Closing in on Luganville !!!!!!!!!!

Well it has been an intersting, testing trying adventure for our very Salty Sailors to say the least.  The weather has not been kind to them at times. A rest for some in Chesterfield and others in Huon Reef has now got them en route again to Vanuatu. We have one Yacht All Seas at 0715 hrs today 25th Maly only 45 nm from Luganville.  John and crew have sailed non stop from Raby Bay albeit with rough conditions and a rope around the prop for a few days !!!  We will be awaiting there arrival with cheers  this afternoon about 4 pm Vanuatu time.

We should have 6 others - Citrus Tart, Tradewinds III,  Simply Sensational, Special Effects, Utopia II and Miles Ahead arriving Vanuatu from thursday onwards.  Apre Vous, Gypsy Lee and Stars End 2 having left Chesterfield on Monday may be in later.  Two others will be on route later in the month for Vanuatu after returning to Australia to repair various things.  The weather in Northern Vanuatu is magnificent to welcome them in the next few days.

It will be a very welcome arrival of all and a very very exciting Celebration day on Saturday 28th .
Once all is refreshed and repaired we will then head to Rah Island for another welcome with Father Luke Dini and his community

More to come ...............................

Monday, May 16, 2011

2 Yachts close to Chesterfield Reef

10 Yachts underway and getting closer to their much anticipated stop over at Chesterfield and or Huon.  Two Yachts - Apre Vous and All seas look like arriving at Chesterfield tuesday afternoon.  Conditions have been a little windy ...between 25 to 40 knots of sse and seas moderate to rough.  Utopia II stepping out ahead with 6 on aboard ( 4 children included) . Radio Skeds are at 0715hrs and 1815hrs AEST every day.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"The Passage Begins"

After much preparation ,Briefings, Custom clearance yesterday and a great weather window to look forward to the fleet of 12 yachts departed today Saturday 14th May.  With waterlines ' higher than usual' the yachts are underway through Moreton Bay and from Gladestone and Bundaberg.  Most are expected to reach Huon Reef in the next 4 or 5 days.  Permission each year is granted by the French authorites to stop over en route.  Father Luke Dini from Rah Island in the northern remote islands of Vanuatu has spent the past week in Brisbane with us to meet and Greet the Yachties partaking in the Rally.  He has been busy with many speaking engagements in Brisbane (TV, Radio and Newspaper interviews) encouraging those who are travelling to Vanuatu to help communities in need and to promote Vanuatu as a wonderful tourist destination.  We will be making twice daily HF radio skeds with the Yachts with weather info, position and condition reports from each yacht will be recorded. Fair winds and following seas for them all !!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Brisbane to Vanuatu Yacht Rally 2011

Time is fast approaching for the 5th Annual Brisbane to Vanuatu Yacht Rally.  Supporting Health and Education in Vanuatu.  Departure date is Saturday May 14th - expected arrival is before 28th May at Luganville , Espiritu Santo Northern Vanuatu.  13 Yachts are registered to depart. Yachts in size from 28 ft to 50 ft. A stop off at beautiful Huon and Chesterfield Reef en route to Luganville, Vanuatu is planned.
The celebration of arrival on 28th May will be a fun filled day of custom experience with Banks Islands and Pentecoste Island dancers , String Band and local Island food.

The Rally will depart for the remote Banks and Torres Islands early June for 2 to 3 weeks.

Join us for our ongoing journey of discovery in the beautiful Islands of Vanuatu