September 16

Wow has it been hot! The last three days have been the hottest we have experienced in 2 years. The main problem is that there has been absolutely no wind the entire time. At least when the wind is blowing if cools you off and especially important, it keeps the inside of the boat cool. We have many hatches on our boat and normally at anchor the boat points into the wind and it funnels down into the boat keeping things cool. Without any breeze it just heats up. The worst part is cooking. Not only does this add more heat to the inside of the boat, but cooking fumes, smells and smoke do not exhaust naturally the way they do when a breeze is blowing.  

To make matters worse the anchorage here at Ambae is almost completely enclosed on all sides making what little breeze there might be outside even less apparent here in the harbor. Further, because of the enclosed nature of the harbor the water is cloudy and dirty even though just a few hundreds yards away (outside the harbor) the water is crystal clear. We have gone out snorkeling both today and yesterday and spent some time on a beach outside the bay where the water was cool and clear, but coming back to the boat is even more shocking after that. Just walking on the decks without shoes is painful as they heat up like a NY sidewalk in July.  

Meanwhile, we want to move West to Espirito Santo, about 50 miles away, but we have been reluctant to go without wind as we would be assured of having to motor the entire way. This is bad because we need to start conserving fuel (i.e. money) and also because Santo does not have a decent fuel dock, fuel will have to be brought out to the boat in 6 gallon jerry jugs. Right now we need about 50 gallons to fill our tanks. Motoring another 50 miles to Santo will use about 10-12 gallons which means another 2 jerry jugs we will have to haul to the boat. Anyway, at this point we are desperate to get out of this oven of a bay and have decided to go Thursday morning no matter what the wind is doing. Forecasts do predict wind for Thursday, so if we are lucky we will be able to sail.  

The village here is a regional headquarters for the three island region of Pentacost, Ambae and Maewo, the three islands we have been visiting for the last 2 weeks. This is not to give the impression that it is a large or populous place by normal standards, but they do have motor vehicles (dirt roads) and 3 stores. They have an egg farm which was set up by a Peace Corps worker whom we met last week on Maewo and quite a few people. All of this really just means it is a little more dusty and has more people then the average sleepy little villages we have been visiting for the last few weeks.

Luganville, the second largest town in Vanuatu which is located on Espirito Santo is far larger then this place (which is called Lolowai) but even that is nothing more then a small dirty town. Compared to Luganville (which is often called just Santo after the island on which it is situated) Port Vila is a regular metropolis.