Tues 23rd July 2013

Off to Tanna accompanied by “Eutikia”. Not as much wind as forecast so so we motor sailed clear of Anietyum. We caught a nice 5 kg Yellowfin Tuna.

We invited Giovanni and Marina aboard for fish dinner once we were safely anchored at Port Resolution. The fish went straight into the fridge after we bled it.

Yasur volcano brooding and belching clouds of ash and smoke as we approached.

Port Resolution was empty except for our friends Gordon and Joy on Promise. Giovanni came aboard once we were anchored and showed us the best way to cut up the fish. The big tail fillets went into the freezer to share with Clive and Libby when they arrived. We BBQ'd 4 big steaks for dinner and had a very enjoyable night.

Wed 24th July 2013

Our first approach from a native canoe was Patrick and his son asking us if we could charge his phones, dvd player and come ashore to look at his broken generator. He asked is we would like some fruit and vegies. He came back later to pick up his phones laden with a canoe full of bananas, chokos, limes, taro and the best basil we have ever had.

We went ashore and met Stanley who is in charge of Port Resolution Yacht Club and looks after all the yachties.

He showed us around the villiage pointing out the villiage shop and the way to the beach. He suggested that the local truck, which does a return trip to Lenakal every Friday, pick up of Libby and Clive from the airport. this was a 3 hour journey on a 4wd track over the centre of the island and the ash plains of Mt Yasur. We decided to meet them at the airport as we suspected they did not realize the difficulty involved.

I later went ashore again to look at Patrick's generator. It was a beat up old cheap Chinese mini genset about 6 years old. We got it running but it only put out 24V not 240V. I thought it might be the capacitor but forgot that my multi tester could check it so I left it at that. I met Patricks lovely wife Nellie and their kids.

Thursday 25th July 2013

Lazy day walking. Explored White Beach and the Hot Springs

Found a leak in the watermaker and tracked it down to a cracked composite cylinder on the Clark Pump. Just what we needed with guests about to arrive.

Friday 26th July 2013

7.00am start from the yacht club we were told. Waited but no one turned up. Walked down to Stanley's home. He got on the phone and roused the driver. On our way by 7.40am. Truck was a dual cab. lea and I had the back seat and about 6 locals rode in the tray at the back. We bounced our way through jungle and villages until we reached the ash plain averageing about 20 kph.

Stopped at a special interschool athletics carnival for 1/2 an hour.

In Lenekal we changed some money the hit the market to stock up with fresh food. We even found Brocholi much to Lea's delight. A stick of mandarins,chokos in there own woven coconut frond bag, spring onion, carrots, bok choy wrapped in banana leaves, bananas, tomatoes and cucumber. The whole place was crowded and buzzing with energy. We tried local Tanna Coffee and enjoyed a fish and rice lunch at a tiny grass hut restaurant. Toilets for Lea were a problem as we couldnt work out where the local women go. Fortunately 2 modern guest house's allowed Lea to use their facilites.

 

Stanley was our guide for the day and looked after our shopping while we went off exploring. I asked him whether he was going to use the opportunity to do some shopping for his family. He went quiet and seemed embarrassed and finally admitted that he had no money. We explaimed that we wanted to give him a gift for looking after us all day but wanted to make sure it was a gift he needed. He appreciated that and he went off to buy some staples for his family and a can of Fanta for a special treat for himself.

We met up with the truck again and it was out to airport to wait for the plane. It was quite late by the time we had collected Libby and Clive and their 50 kg of luggage, so the driver took off fast to use the last of the daylight. Clive and I tried the back of the ute but after 10 minutes of being toosed around and drowned in dust we gave up asked for seats inside.

We arrived back in Port Resolution about 7.00pm in the dark ready for the next adventure which was to get Libby and Clive and all their luggage down to the beach, out through the coral fringing reef and onto the boat all in the pitch dark. Luckily the tide was high so the coral was not a problem and 2 trips later we were settling down to a welcome drink. Poor Libby was done in. They had had accomodation hassles back at Port Vila and had very little sleep in the last 48 hours. It had been a big day for all of us so it was soon to bed.

Sat 27th July 2013

All up early and Libby was feeling much better. I set to work on the watermaker to explore the damage. Found 3 small cracks in the cylinder wall. Had already emailed Spectra in the USA and they had promptly replied that they would supply a new cylinder under warranty once we got to Port Vila.

I undertook a temporary repair with an epoxy bandage.

Later that morning we all went to Patrick's house to have another go at his genset as he had gone to Lenekal yesturday and acquired a new capacitor. The boys got stuck into the genset while Nellie showed Lea and Libby around their extensive and lovely garden. Nellie was educated at the local French school so her English was limited but communication was not a problem.

Unfortunately, it turned out not to be the capacitor in the genset and with Clive's help we diagnosed a short in the windings making the whole thing irrepairable. I felt bad as I realised I could have tested the capacitor and saved Patrick an expensive trip to Lenekal.

We picked up Patrick's phone for charging and took some photos of the family to print and laminate. These we later gave to them as a gift.

Then off to find Stanley and arrange our visit to the Volcano.

Back ashore for 3.30 with Gordon from Promise to be picked up by truck to go to Yasur. Some difficulty was encountered as another group of 5 was trying to muscle in on our booking. Eventually it was sorted out and the 2 parties who had booked making it 8 of us tourists squeezed into the truck. 4 girls in the back seat and 4 blokes on the tray. The other group led by a pushy arrogant prick called Anton were left behind.

 

We arrived at the rim of the volcano about 1 hour before dark and watched the activity well into the night.

Yasur was at level 2 which is reasonably active and we experienced quite a few dramatic explosions. The biggest made us all jump and we felt the shockwave from the explosion hit us before the noise.

Yasur was stunning spectacle and very exciting to watch. We returned to the boat in high spirits and enjoyed champagne and tuna.

Sunday 28th July

The forecast showed the wind moving toward the north and already a slight swell was beginning to make the anchorage a little rolly so we made a quick decision to leave for Erromango. The girls had planned to go to church with Nellie so unfortunatley they missed out on all that singing. Clive and Libby went ashore to explore the hot springs while I went to say our goodbyes to Patrick and Stanley. Lea prepared the boat for sea.

It was a great sail to Erromango, a little blustery and right behind us. Started with Main and Screecher but soon got rid of the Main. Spinnaker was up for an hour before the gusts went over 20kts so we got it down. Finnished the trip under Screecher alone rolling down the swells. Clive enjoyed the trip but Libby was seasick and slept most of the trip.

Clive was very busy with the fishing rod determined to catch a fish. He tried every lure on the boat. Unfortunately we lost our favourite lure when the trace broke. Approaching Erromango Clive hooked a big one. We got it up to the boat and saw we had about a 4 foot Mackerel. I was just reaching to grab the trace ready to gaff when with a flick of the head the fish snapped the line and took off with our lure ( that was your lure Gerry, the big orange one!)

We anchored in Dillon's Bay, Erromango Island just before dusk and enjoyed a quiet night.

 

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