June 18

This morning at 6:45am we hauled up the anchor and motored over to the fuel dock to top off our diesel tanks. We took about 65 US gallons and then pulled out into the bay to begin our passage to Tanna in Vanuatu. The weather is fine with clear skies and sunshine. The wind is calm at about 5k from the NW, which I think is a land induced local effect. Forecasts call for South to SE winds of 10k today. A bit light, but we don't mind it that way compared to what our friends on "Steadfast" had a few days ago. The made the passage to Tanna in 35-45k of wind from the ESE, right on the nose.

The first job is to get to Havannah Pass on the SE corner of Grande Terre, about 40 miles from Noumea. We must transit the Woodin Channel again and have planned our passage to coincide with the ebb tide. We will have between 1 and 2 knots pushing us once we get into the channel. By 2 or 3pm we should be exiting the pass into the ocean.

It is now 10:30am and we are motoring in sunny skies and no wind of any kind. The lagoon is calm and peaceful and only a few thin, wispy clouds are seen here and there. I am still expecting some wind from the SSE to come up in the afternoon, most likely as we get closer to Havannah Pass.

At 4:45pm we are now 211nm to go to reach Tanna. We are about 15 miles off the coast of Grande Terre and conditions remain very calm with less then 10k of wind from the SSE. Seas are calm with almost no swell whatsoever. We are motorsailing at 5.5k at low RPMs. We are 59nm from the Southern tip or Isle Mare, the Southernmost of the Loyalty Islands. Many boats stop at Mare on the way to Tanna as we had planned to, but, French authorities only allow a 24 hour stop at Mare (or Lifou) and we would have to go about 3.5k to arrive in the morning (right now we expect to pass Mare's Southern tip at about 3am). Many boats choose to ignore the regulations and remain in the Loyalties more then the allotted 24 hours, and we are not above considering this, but our expectations are that Mare will not be much warmer then Grande Terre (Mare is at 21.4 degrees South latitude while Noumea is at 22.4 - not much difference) and although it is reputed to have incredible water clarity, sea temperatures will not be much higher then at Grande Terre (about 70F, a bit chill for our comfort level, great if you normally swim off Cape Cod).

So, thus our decision to sail right for Tanna. Port Resolution is the name of the harbor on Tanna where cruising yachts anchor and it is located at S19.5 E169.5. It is named for the "Resolution", one of Capt. Cook's ship for it was he himself who first sighted and landed at Tanna in the late 1700s. The story I read is that Cook attempted to ask a native what the name of the island is by pointing at the ground. The native gave their word for the ground as " Muka-Tana" - Cook, having completely missed the first syllable called the island "Tanna". This according to the Lonely Planet guide in case you are wondering.

It is now almost 7pm and we are motorsailing in calm seas on a heading of 45M making about 5.5k over ground. The wind remains light from the SSE at 8-10k. The distance remaining to Tanna is about 196nm.

At 7:45 with the wind increasing to 10-12k we shut down the motor and are actually sailing at 5k. If we can keep the boat moving comfortably we will continue to sail.