October 4

We are still at Santo waiting for better weather. This season has been an abomination as far as weather has been concerned. There has been less sunshine and more rain then there should be – certainly more then we experienced last season. Everyone we speak to who has been in the S. Pacific more then 2 seasons says the same, compared to other years, this is just the worst.  

Meanwhile, Kate has some kind of sinus or ear infection, it seems to be affecting both so we are not sure. She started taking antibiotics and yesterday she felt it was not working so we phoned the doctor in the US (a place called MHS in Seattle which contracts out medical consultation services to yachts) and he advised to continue taking it (Augmenten) and to combine it with Sudafed and lots of Advil. He said that a lack of results after only 3 days is not significant so we are hoping she will improve over the next few days.  

We had considered hopping down the West coast of Malekula and then jumping off for New Cal , but with the weather like this I think we will wait here till it improves, and by then it will be high time to get moving so we will head right for New Cal . We are actually very excited about seeing New Caledonia , it looks remarkable from the tourist guides and cruising guides we have been reading. Recently we were given copies of  computer cruising guides for both New Cal and Vanuatu . They look very similar were made by the same people, a group called Tellus Consultants based in Port Vila, Vanuatu.  

Both are Flash based (a Macromedia product) and include harbor charts of dozens of anchorages, satellite photos, aerial photos and descriptions and “Points of Interest” type stuff as well. They both also contain background info on the country, the customs, politics, etc., etc. as well as Weather info for the region and health advisories and issues to be considered. Quite well done in both cases. Both have made our cruising easier and assisted greatly in planning our route and itineraries. According to the Vanuatu CD it can be purchased from the website http://cruising-vanuatu.com. The New Cal CD can be found at http://www.cruising-newcaledonia.com - highly recommended. The Vanuatu CD includes a request for US$50 though the New Cal CD does not include a price. Anyone heading this way either by yacht or on a land based vacation should get it immediately. Highly recommended!  

One of the CDs also includes a plug for something called the Thread of Awareness which was created based on the voyages of the research vessel “Moira”. They give a web site of http://www.threadofawareness.com - I have not seen it myself so cannot say what it is, but it might be worth a look.