October 17

We are still here and of course the wind has picked up and its coming out of the NE which is making going north a bit lumpy. Aah finally it’s changed a bit to the east.

I took the 2 am to 6am shift. Jonah woke up at 4:30 and kept me company in the cockpit while we watched dawn stretch its rosy fingers across the sky. Jordan woke up at 5:00 and we started messing with the sails. I made pancakes for Jonah which is tricky when the boat is heeling over. I kind of wedged myself in the kitchen and try to keep everything from getting airborne. Jonah is being very good on this trip. I have given him a couple of “passage surprises” like a new movie and new computer games. We are counting down to birthday – hopefully we will get into Tarawa the day before he turns 7! He has developed a heat rash on his neck and face – little red bumps all over his face and neck. It’s been very hot.

We are in radio contact with several boats who are on passage with us. William on “PietHyne” is around 50 miles in front of us. He is a single-hander and today was his birthday, he turned 75 years old today. Yahoo William! 

“Wind Runner” is only 2 days out of Vanuatu and “Green Nomad” is right behind them. There is another boat “Navi Gator” who is near us, we don’t know them but we talk to them on the radio to find out where they are and weather. 

I had a question about the incident at Petersen Bay and I need to clear the story up. I wrote the September journal entry in question when I was really pissed off and I wrote badly due to my anger. The lady owner (who happened to be French) of the resort told us that several bags of garbage had been found on the other side of the resort island and she thought it was garbage from one of the yachts. We chatted a bit and basically said it must be someone else. I said I knew all the people in the anchorage where we were and it couldn’t be one of them, so maybe someone from the anchorage on the other side of the island. THEN she said to me, “NO all those people ate our restaurant so it can’t be one of them”. 

She gave me a nasty stare, we had not eaten at the restaurant. This was after she told us she took our boat names and was thinking of turning them into immigration. I should have laughed at that since it isn’t exactly a model of police efficiency but the whole implication that because I haven’t bought dinner at her restaurant I must be a litterbug really ticked me off. So I was a bit short with her and walked away. OKAY. End of story. 

I really enjoyed our time in Vanuatu. The locals really make it fabulous and the untouched natural beauty is amazing. I hope more people will decide to visit Vanuatu as the country really could use the tourist dollars. Its definitely more off beat than other South Pacific choices and lacks major hotels (I think there are two or three in Port Villa.) and many islands have few if any roads. Its actually perfect for Yachties as the islands are close together for easy hopping about. It is a third world country replete with typical problems but it does have a people who are trying to hold on to their culture (with success) and at the same time educate and improve their lives. I think my favorite thing was to watch them do their custom dances because they did with such energy and passion. They still know the old songs and they teach the dances to the children. Its pretty amazing,