September 5

We left Homo Bay this morning at about 7:30am and began motoring North along the lee coast of Pentecost Island. There is about 8k of wind from the SSE and the sea is very calm under the influence of the island which shields us from the majority of the wind. The sky is about 50% overcast. Our goal is Loltong Bay on the North end of Pentecost, about 25 miles from here.

We raised the mainsail at about 8:15am but continue motorsailing in light winds. By 11am we had a nice 15-18k breeze from the SE and we are sailing at above 8k, and we are towing our inflatable dinghy!

The entrance to Loltong was very tricky. We have no large scale chart and the CMap chart (on the computer) shows no detail at all. We do have 3 cruising guides each with a little diagram/maplet none of which are very clear. They all make reference to leading triangles which we cannot find until someone ashore flashes us with a mirror. After that we are clear and can see the leads in the binoculars.

The wind is blowing 20+k by now and we are grateful to be inside the bay where the wind dies to 8-10k and only reaches 15k in the gusts. The guide books all talk about "wind bullets" (williwaws) which shoot down the mountain slopes into the bay from the East.

We are anchored in 15ft of crystal clear waters. Several turtles were in attendance as we meandered around the anchorage trying to decide where to drop the hook. By 12:30 we are comfortably anchored and by 1pm we are cleaned up on deck and having lunch. After lunch we are going to visit the village and make the customary greetings and request formal permission to swim on the reefs (and fish, go to the beach, etc. - this is normal in Vanuatu as well is in many Melanesian countries and permission is never denied).