June 17

Yesterday we cleared out with Customs and Immigration but this morning decided not to leave. There was a cold front going through the night before and in the morning it was totally overcast, though it had not rained since midnight. I thought we should wait a day and leave in fine weather. Of course, by 10am the sky had cleared and we ended up with a beautiful day. My reading of the weather forecasts shows the same weather for tomorrow, so we are psyched to get going. First we need to stop at the fuel dock to top off our diesel.

Our destination is the island of Tanna in Vanuatu (formerly the New Hebrides). Tanna has a famous, active volcano (Mt. Yasur). It is one of the most accessible active volcanoes in the world and we are very excited to see it. Tours at night are the rage and many people we know have seen it and given it "glowing" reports!

The distance to Tanna from Noumea is approximately 250nm and should take us about 40 hours. We will leave in the morning, June 18th, at about 8am and should arrive early in the morning on the 20th. Forecasts call for light winds from the SSE at 10k for the first day and 15k for the second day.

Our last day in Noumea was spent shopping and relaxing. In the AM we went to the public market and got some produce and a special treat for us, fresh bean curd (tofu). We ate half tonight using a new method we discovered in Chinatown in Sydney called "salt and pepper". The tofu are cubed and deep fried (no batter or anything) and then quickly tossed in a wok after finely chopped ginger, scallions and chili peppers have been stir fried. Then they are dusted with salt and pepper and tossed some more. The result is simple yet delicious. The tofu are light and crunchy and the salt and pepper are great contrasts.