September 17

It is Tuesday and the first hint of clearing is in the air. There was some sunshine today, though it rained lightly on and off as clouds covered us then rolled away for a while then came back. Now it is 4:30pm and it is nice and calm, about 90% overcast with some clearing. We are leaving in the morning for Luganville, we have been here quite long enough. The thing is, we couldn’t really enjoy the place because of the constant rain. We did manage to visit the waterfall again today, with Kate this time, during a nice period. We took some pictures this time.  

Kate is ashore with Jonah now – he is at a birthday party for Allison, the little girl on “Noason”. As I have written before, they spend a lot of time here and are very close with the villagers. The party is being held at the temporary “yacht club”, basically a thatched roof with thatched walls on three sides. Kind of a lean-to in fact. But cozy. I stayed behind to read and relax. Ahhhhh.

Luganville is about 56 miles to the West on the island of Espirito Santo . Both the island and the town are normally referred to as just Santo, so from now on I will do so here for the town but will use the full name (Espirito Santo) for the island. After we clear in with customs we will probably anchor in front of the Aore Resort just opposite Santo on Aore Island (about a half mile South of Luganville on the other side of the Segond Channel). We hope to spend a few days there scuba diving on the wreck of the SS President Coolidge, a cruise ship converted to troop carrier during WWII which sank in the Segond Channel (Japanese aerial bombardment I think). The ship is, I think, 700 ft long and in about 100ft of water. It is supposed to take 4 dives at least to see it all. We are not sure if we can dive it along, it is literally just outside of the town about 100yds from shore – many people do it as a shore dive in fact.  

There is also Million Dollar Point about a mile East of the town where the US Army dumped military equipment after WWII. The story has it that they offered it for sale to the locals for pennies but because they assumed it would be left regardless (considering the high cost of shipping it all back to the US ) they decided not to deal and just pick up the stuff for free. Apparently the equipment consists of everything from trucks to tanks and in between including fuel trucks, half tracks, etc., etc., etc. Anyway, in the end Uncle Sam was so frustrated at the bargaining position from the locals they dumped the stuff in the drink. Har har – that’s showing them!