September 2

This morning we hauled in the anchor at 5:45am, just after first light, and steamed out of the anchorage bound for Pentacost Island which lies about 47nm to the NE of us. The weather was fine with clear skies and very little wind. Forecasts are for 10-15k from the ESE but we had less then 8k as we left. We made our way through the reef infested waters of the Maskelyne Islands and at about 7am passed through the East Entrance and into the ocean.

Seas are very calm with almost no swell to speak of and the wind has not increased any. We have about 8k from the East putting us on a reach with the wind just amidships. We raised the mainsail and let out the genoa and found ourselves sailing at about 3.5k. Then we put the engine back in gear and committed ourselves to motorsailing. Right now it is about 7:30am and we are motorsailing at low rpms (about 1400) and making about 6.2k over ground on a course of 357M. Our first waypoint is the NW tip of Ambrym Island, a steaming, smoking volcanic island of some renown. We will turn to starboard at that point and travel along the Northern coast of Ambrym for another 14 miles before we turn NE again to cross the channel between Ambrym and Pentacost, about 9 miles wide. We expect to arrive at Homo Bay on the Southern end of Pentacost (an island of about 32 miles in length and 6 miles wide oriented in a North/South axis) at about 2pm this afternoon.

We rounded the Westernmost point of Ambrym at about 10:30 am and found flat calm water with almost no wind. At about 11:30 the wind began to come up from the North then the East as both Ambrym and the Selwyn Strait (between Ambrym and Pentacost) caused the wind to bend. The wind quickly grew to 15-17k from the ENE and we started heading closer to the island (Ambrym) to gain shelter and get into a better angle for the final leg across the Selwyn Strait.

At noon we are now 12.5nm from Homo Bay and are heading ENE toward Ambrym still on a course of about 70M. We are about 2.5 miles from the shore and the wind is slightly weaker here.

At 1:15pm we are now 5nm from Homo Bay. Conditions crossing the Selwyn Strait are good with 10-15k from the ENE. We are motorsailing close to the wind on a course of 14M with a speed of 6-7k depending on how the wind is blowing.

We anchored at about 2:15pm in 30ft of water about 200yds off a rocky beach. The anchorage is very calm with only a slight, slight rocking motion which is very pleasant in fact. Kate and I are very tired having woken at 5:15 this morning. I am sure we will sleep deeply tonight.

As a footnote, I will add that at about 7pm I went on deck to look around and was shocked to see the volcanoes on nearby Ambrym, about 10 miles away, glowing red hot and easily visible. A very surreal sight which I will surely remember for a long time. I got Kate and Jonah on deck to see and we stared at it for 10 minutes in the chilly night air. Where else can you sit in the cockpit and watch volcanoes glowing from 10 miles away? Only in Vanuatu.