Our journey north continues.

A map will give you a better idea of what I am doingThis is the tracker for my last 4 months,

this blog post covers my recent travels through Espiritu Santo and then GauaLuganville is the second largest city in Vanuatu. It has rudimentary supermarkets and a very good fresh fruit and vegetable market

going hungry in Vanuatu is the least of our worriesthe sweet potatoes were delicious and only cost 300vatu for this bag full

We found the alcohol merchant and stocked uploading the groceries into the transport, the cruising yachty wayDuring WW2 the US had 40,00 troops bases in Luganville (and an estimated 4-500,000 had R&R here). The American base commander insisting that four army tanks must be able to be driven side by side along the  road, which is the explanation for the crazily wide main road.and being Vanuatu the ute trays are loaded with peopleAll provisioned up, it was time to resume our journey north. First stop, was a 10mile sail up to Polikulo Baya lovely sheltered anchorage, anchored off a white sand beachOne of the things I love about Vanuatu is the sound of children playing in the water that, is present in all the anchorages 

Daniel and I were off the next morning to travel the 26miles up to Hog Harbour

with a pod of dolphins joining me for some of the tripit was a challenging anchorage, were I needed to find a sandy patch to drop the anchor, but stay away from the coral in front, that was only half a meter from the surface at low tide.the holding for the anchor was very good But then the anchor chain got caught around a piece of coral,

which resulted in a loud grating noise, throughout the night, as the boat swung on the caught chain.

Elephant Island opposite the anchorage. framed itself in-between the hullsDaniel and I SUPed ashorewere we found a bar for a very cold Tusker (the local beer)Then back to Logic, were it was my turn to cookwith this sunset, out the kitchen windowThe next day we SUPed around to Champagne Beachwhich is another ocean cruise liner destination (like Mystery Island on Aneityum,) were a thousand “cruisers” disembark for 6hr of land timewhile getting himself into a good position for the photo Daniel forgot to get ready for the waveWe found a restaurant, just back from the water, to have dinner that night when we came in too book a table for that evening, there was a wedding reception going on (Aussies), so we ended up sharing a few beers with the wedding party, as you do.

This is a beautiful relaxed country but as this written-off aluminium runabout  demonstrates, you do not want to be here in cyclone seasonWe left early the next morning to cover the 51 miles to Gaua.

With a very conservative amount of sail area upwhile we waited to see if there was any wind gusts in the gray clouds aheadthere wasn’t.

And the day then turned into a great forward of the beam, speedy reach, to Gauawith an idyllic bay to drop the anchor inand a postcard perfect village on the shore

the water had the clarity of gin, making it ideal for some underwater de-barnacling exerciseThe next day was Sunday, so I went ashore for mass in the Anglican Churchtheir spelling is as bad as mineIt was a lovely service by Father Leviwho was running low on communion wine, so I gave him a bottleLevi, then gave me a tour of the village we went past 2 boys, that were getting a lot of enjoyment out of the empty yoghurt container, I had given Levi the day before, too bail out his dugout canoe withand the pre-school, were they had made a slippery slide out of timber

Daniel had to leave to pick up his wife Andrea, who was flying into Sola on Vanua Lava.

A few hours after he left a lovely German couple, Brigit and Andreas, arrived in their mono-hull called Muktuk.

There was a spring of drinking water coming out of the sand on the beach, which they used to fill their water tanks and do their washing, with an audience.

(the reason for the very black sand, was a volcanic eruption in 2009. The down wind dropped ash cloud forced the evacuation of the village for one year and 5months, too the eastern side of the island. When they came back all the roofs had collapsed from the weight of the fallen ash (sand). 9 years later you would not know of the volcanic eruption, if not told, and the fertility of the soil was prolific.) 

Then it was time for the cultural festival. put on the villagers for the cruising yachtys (all 3 of us).

I would let the boys use my SUP when I came ashore, they loved the novelty value of paddling it.

Girls throughout the world enjoy having dolls, to comb their hair etc. Girls here don’t have access to Barbie dolls, so they have to make their own. They get the stem of a very fibrous tree and beat it with a rock to expose all the fibers, which after a lot of effort they have a very good imitation of doll with very long hair.

I bought ashore the book of photos, that my eldest daughter had put together for her younger sister’s 21st. The children found the book very interesting.

Then it was back to the cultural festival activities.

Archery

A visit to the chief’s, male only, high house

(living beside the coast, only happened post the missionaries arrival, as prior to then, it was too easy for raiding parties to sneak up and take the men for food and woman for wives, so they use to live high in the hills, for safety)

 Chief John Star’s son Johnathan, showed us how they make bamboo walls for their huts

They braided me an armlet and decorated it with inserted cordyline leaves.

some cultural dancing

Then the highlight for me, was the woman doing their water music

Then the villagers all came together for me to take the photo for the picture frame.

I gave the children a pack of cards, which they obviously knew how to use

I got seriously wasted drinking kava

Somehow I managed to make it back too Logic on the paddle board