July 5

Today is Saturday, July 5th here in Vanuatu. Happy July 4th to everyone back home! We didn't really celebrate the 4th yesterday, though we did sing the national anthem with Jonah. Lately we have also begun to teach him the Pledge of Allegiance. Though I have always had some qualms about pledging anything regarding anything, love of country is definitely something we want to pass on to Jonah. We also had Jonah draw an American flag a few months ago as part of school and we've hung it on the door to the fwd. Head so it is easily visible anywhere in the saloon. Of course, we also fly a large American flag off our stern on a nice varnished mahogany flagpole.

The last week has been very pleasant and we have been totally relaxing big time. Though I did do a small job yesterday: I moved one of the fans in the fwd. Cabin from one wall to another so as to be more effective for the person sitting up there, usually Jonah playing computer games on the laptop. The weather has been absolutely glorious except for Thursday when it rained all day. Yesterday started as a beautiful day and we did laundry in the AM (nice hot sun to dry it outside) but in the PM things began to change. By 4pm we had a chop in the anchorage and by sunset the wind had died and we were beam to a new swell which started coming in the bay. Up till then we had the flattest, calmest anchorage you could imagine. Like a mill pond we like to say. Then at sunset the swell came in and it was too late to move! By 7pm we were rolling hard and everything not tied down was flying about the cabin. We put up the lee cloth in the saloon and put Jonah to bed there instead of in his room (he does have a lee cloth in his room as well but the saloon is easier to set up). It was easily as bad as Tanna was and that's saying something.

This morning the rolling has abated somewhat though it is still uncomfortable at times. Cloud cover is about 80% and there was a slight drizzle at 6am which has stopped now. It is now 7:15 and we are going to up anchor soon and head over to Port Vila, about 5 miles away, where we will hole up for the next few days while a strong wind develops. Forecasts call for 25k tomorrow, 30kt the next two days after that, then 25k again the day after that. Beyond that is pure fantasy, but both the forecasts and logic predict it will calm down after that. Then we will leave Vila again and check out Emae in the Shepherd Islands. We are also completely out of eggs and down to our last jug of gasoline, which we need for the dinghy outboard and scuba compressor.