Friday, October 18, 2013
Well, after a more than rough sail overnight ( winds 25-30+ with crazy seas) we made it to the small island of Vanikoro which is part of the Santa Cruz island group in the southern Solomons. It was a long, wet sail with seas that didn't allow you to stand in one place very long and wind that kept Sidewinder feeling like a runaway train even though she only had a double reefed main and a staysail out. Neither Suiz nor I got much sleep and now that we are tucked into this totally protected bay I'm sure both of us will sleep like babes tonight. From here it's up further into the Solomons and then on to Ponhpei or now we are thinking of maybe heading up to Papau New Guinea and then on to Micronesia. I'll let you know our decision-
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
We arrived yesterday after a delightful downwind sail from the north tip of Gaua with Java and Maaliwalas. Our new friends on this yacht are from the Philippines and are wonderful people; they are headed back home after 6 years of sailing around the world, and we are looking forward to connecting with them there in the Philippines, if we actually get there. We will sail with them at least partially through the Solomons. Because of weather predictions, I think we will need to leave here tomorrow and head up to the first of the Solomon Islands in the Santa Cruz group. There is a low that is supposed to hit the Torres, the north islands in Vanuatu, by Saturday or Sunday, and we do not want to be close by. We will let you know more tomorrow morn when we depart, although, it has been difficult sending messages out in the morning. The water here is the clearest, aqua blue water I have ever seen and the snorkeling would have been incredible if the sun had been out. The pool at the double waterfall is deep and refreshing, and the villagers very welcoming, although we are a bit over-whelmed by all that they want from us. It is hard not to feel a bit used, even though we are visiting their homes and sleeping in their front yards. Much to think about....... It certainly has been an amazing anchorage for the three of us.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Arrived here on Gaua Island, Lakcona Bay, around 5 PM, thank goodness! It was a mighty rolly roudy crossing with swells big enough to push us around and wind on the aft beam anywhere between 13 and 28kts !PHEW !!!! It is so nice to be in this little cove, in the quiet of the bay. It was an intense afternoon to say the least, but Sidewinder did really well and so did Capt David and Suzi. Our plan is to head around the corner to a more protected bay on the northeast side and enjoy the rain that is predicted to arrive tomorrow eve. It would be nice if there was good snorkeling but am not sure about this island......need to do a bit more investigating. There is supposed to be good internet there in Lusalava. Guess we will find out. From here we head north to Waterfall Bay, Vanua Lava, and then onward.
Sending you my love and healing spirit continually through-out the day, dear Kris buddy. Love you, S
Sending you my love and healing spirit continually through-out the day, dear Kris buddy. Love you, S
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Time to be on our way, enjoying the last of the islands of Vanuatu and preparing ourselves for the sail to Pohnpei, Micronesa, for cyclone season. It has been a wonderful trip through these magical, lush green isalnds and the people have welcomed us with warm smiles and generous ways. We have been traveling way too fast and regret not having enough time to spend with the people, as well as snorkeling and diving these pristine waters. The weather drives us at this time of the year and so I must just be happy with where we have been and grateful for the connections we were able to make. Pictures tell so much more, so I do hope this internet connection will allow me to send a few more wonderful memories your way. Love to all!
Monday, October 7, 2013
The double waterfall at Nasavari Bay, on Maewa Island was stunning. I had an incredible hike up the waterfall and to a lookout. Alex and son, Ian, part of the family who owns the land, have great dreams for this waterfall restaurant and bar there; it was a very special place. I have more pics and will hope to add them to the blog sometime today or tomorrow.
The last two pics are from our wreck dive on the Coolidge and our reef dive. It was great getting into the water again!
Saturday, October 5, 2013
We are sorry that we have no pictures to help share this adventure, but the internet is so sketchy, that sending pics is almost impossible. These few updates by dear Casey just let our blog followers know that we are still enjoying the flow of life in the islands which are so removed from the reality most of you are experiencing on a daily basis. The trip from Loltong, Pentecost, to Asanvari Bay, Maewo, took about 4 hours with pretty big swells on our aft stern and strange gusty winds; at least the winds were behind us and most of the time we were blessed with 18=20 kts, enough to push us through the big waves. It was awesome rounding the corner and heading into peaceful Asanvari Bay, with crystal clear water, high lush green cliffs reaching up to the blue sky, a stunning waterfall in sight, a beautiful little yacht club on the beach, a lovely little village nestled behind the rocky point. and a few very friendly villagers in home-made kayaks fishing and transporting themselves from village to home. Often times Vanuatu islands have reminded me of old Hana Hawaii........really beautiful. David and I took Worm to the shore, visited the club, paid $5 each for the privilege of exploring the waterfall,etc., toured the village with Angelica, our 14 yr old guide whose family cannot afford to send her to Secondary school on Ambae the next island over, and then hung on the beach with some wonderful welcoming local men and women who shared life stories with us. David lounged in a hammock with Freddy, one of the teachers here at the primary school, and probably could have spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the peace. We did finally muster up the energy to dinghy over to the gushing waterfall, took fresh water baths and chatted with the owner of the land. He has created a little restaurant and bar, with dinghy landing and lots of gardens, inviting visitors to partake in the special experience. Today I will hike to the upper falls, buy some baskets, visit the school, and just bask in the quiet ambience of the bay. Capt Dave is letting his cranky knee rest, so he will fore-go the hike. As you can see......life out here is pretty awesome! Java and Sidewinder will sail to the big town of Lugenville on the island of Espiritu Santos tomorrow. Love to all!
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
- The morning after the crazy storm, we took Worm over to the little village across the channel, along with our local guide, Nerriah, to see the baby dugong. It had died last Sunday, so we missed him, but we had a lovely hour with the locals who had taken care of it. When we got ready to leave, the ladies showered us with gifts of pumpkin and chotles(another veggie)with beautiful smiles on their faces, and I felt grateful for the encounter. Guess it was not our time to convene with the dugongs but there is still hope that we will be able to swim with them up on the northwest coast of this island. We had a great sail up the coast of Malakula Tuesday afternoon and arrived in Banam Bay ( S 16 20' E 167 45')with time to enjoy a visit onto another beautiful beach and into a village filled with friendly, welcoming people who proudly showed us around and introduced us to everyone. Gifts of sweet spring onions, island cabbage, another pumpkin, paw paws, tomatoes, and nuts were given to us and we went back to Sidewinder and Java, reflecting on the generosity of such poor people. This morning we gave the family some gifts of our own, said our good-byes and sailed across the ocean to Ambryn. David and I snorkeled this afternoon off Sidewinder, around the nearby south lava rock point in crystal clear pretty warm water, amazed by the different coral here, as compared to other islands. It was awesome getting back into the warm water again. Tomorrow we head up around the corner to Ranon or Ranvetlam Bay and perhaps arrange for a hike to the volcano; depends on how adventurous we are. We still have a lot of places to go and we are running out of time.......seems like we have been moving now way too fast, but it is now all about the weather and getting out of the cyclone zone for a rest. And the beat goes on....... Love to all, Suzi and David
Loltong. We meandered around the village this morning and actually found a computer class being given by the official office representing the govt of Vanuatu. The villagers were all young guys, learning what they can do on the computer and they were very engaged when we dropped into the class. The women work a lot in the gardens, up in the hills, making sure they have food each night, and they are known for making beautiful baskets, which they all use to carry whatever. Seems like there are children everywhere, of course, and life goes on and on. The children are so friendly and always seem to be screaming with frolic and joy; they also sing together at the top of their lungs when they see a visitor. The primary school was in session when we walked by but we definitely were a distraction and they were peeking out the windows and waving to us. Poverty here takes on a very different look because they have clean water, lots of healthy food which grows easily, and the climate is warm. Although I would love to see development mean there would be fewer kids, it is easy to see that there is a lot of love and connections between the people in the village and everyone seems to be pretty happy. I do have lots of thoughts and feelings, though, about the male domination in these and so many cultures and it is very prevalent here in Vanuatu. Life.... I have two little sores on my feet which seem to be festering so I am staying out of the water for now; luckily there is a constant dreamy breeze keeping me coolish. This afternoon we are going into the little yacht club here on the beach for a local dinner and the village string band is coming to play for us, which will be very fun. We are enjoying Evan and Donna and are very happy to have a buddy boat with which to hang and do passages. Yesterday's sail up the coast was a bit tense because bullets of 25-30kt winds would hit the boat about every 10 min or so; we had a double reefed main up and a small staysail and that was just perfect. You would never know it was that boisterous out there while snuggled inside this reef. What a magical place this is. I will send this email first and then try to send a few pictures. Cross the fingers and toes! Love you, S