Twocan and Logic, returned to Noumea, were we met up with Daniel and Andrea on Rehab

Now there were 3 Mumby cats anchored togetherThe anchorage in Noumea harbour was getting too crowded, so we anchored in Baie de Citrons and commuted via Albert, under the bridge to the marina, and the dingy dockTannis flew in from Winnipeg, Canada to spend a month South Pacific cruising on Logic Tannis had been  very envious of Barry and my sundowner G&Ts in Twocan‘s beanbags, so we arranged one for her The wind forecast had too much east in it for the passage too Tanna island, Vanuatu, so we kept ourselves busy provisioning and socialising with the other Mumby boat’s crew 

Barry was missing his lovely wife Margret’s cuddles, and enjoyed the doll Andrea had made for her grandchildrenThe predominant wind pattern is the South Pacific is 15kts from the SEs to E, every 6-7days the fronts moving across the Tasman Sea, below us, resulted in a wind with plenty of South in it, for our 220mile passage to the NE.

We got all the paperwork stamped to clear New Caledonia Customs and Immigration, and covered the 40miles south of Noumea to get around the bottom of the Main Island, while we waited for the southerly wind.

We took Logic up into the headwaters of the Baie du PronyAlbert took us up the creek to the hot spring for a soakThen we continued up the river too a waterfall

and a scramble up the waterfall Rehab was a day behind us, so we met up with them at Isle Casy, further down Baie du PronyThe southerly was arriving that night, so we left Baie du Prony  in the afternoonto overnight at Port Boise

As we were leaving Port Boise at 1 in the morning, a MAYDAY came over the VHF, another sailing boat had gone the wrong side of one of the markers into Port Boise, and was well up on the reef. After a lot of interfacing with Marine Rescue, we were asked to remain close by, until  the rescue boat arrived from Noumea. So we dropped the anchor for a few hours, leaving at 4.30AM.

We had a good breeze for a quick passage to Tanna (sailing in company with Rehab)the sun rose the next day, for us to see the smoke coming out of the volcano (Yasur), behind our destination, Port Resolution.the anchorage in Port Resolution was packed, with anchored boats. 30 of which were part of the ARC, round the world rally.(It was an advantage to have only a 800mm draft, as we could anchor in the shallower depth close to the beach)

We took Albert ashore where we met Stanley, who over the last decade has become an institution, helping cruisers check into VanuatuThe people of Vanuatu don’t need marble bench tops in their kitchens, to make them happyPort Resolution has 3 restaurants, we had lunch in 2 of the them

Leah’s

and Suzanne’s, on the southern coastwhere we shared a meal with Marcus and Thomas, from Austria, on a circumnavigation around the world.Vanuatu is a soo soo different from what we know, everybody jumps in the back of a passing utewe SUPed too and from the dingy dockthe major attraction for a cruising yacht visiting Port Resolution was the chance to go up the nearby Yasur volcano and look down into it, as it fires out missiles of molten lava.

Before they took us up the volcano, we were entertained by some cultural dancing

Tannis joined in the dancing 

then it was up the mountain, to look over the edge

at the spectacular fire show, below

which got even more spectacular as the sun set

The Customs and Immigration officials are based on the other side of Tanna Island from Port Resolution at Lenakel. After 2 days of them not coming to us, it was time for us to get a ride over to them, plus it was the day for the local market in Lenakel.

It would have been nice if there were not 6 wheel nuts missing and the seat belts has stopped working years ago, from non useThe road went  through the ash field downwind from the volcano

add water to the rich volcanic soil and the vegetation is prolific, as is the erosion sinking the road deeper and deeperhalf way across the island we met Marcell from Immigration, going the other way, so we did the paperwork and passport stamping on the bonnet

The market at Lenakel was an “Aladdin’s cave” of great fresh produce

The Vanuatu equivalent of our fast food is  laplap. Manioc (cassava) is grated, then made into a paste with coconut milk, stuffed with beef, fish or chicken, then wrapped in a special leaf (called laplap leaf), before cooking in an earth oven of hot rocks.great eating

for muchy food, then grow peanuts, which are sold raw, still attached to their roots and stem. Great way to pass the time, waiting for the others to get their money exchangedThe amount of plastic and paper rubbish, littering the environment is minimal, as everything is wrapped in leaves, packed in bags, woven from coconut leaves, or tied together with vines everywhere you see the locals walking around with bush knives. Their equivalent of a swiss army do-everything toolTannis felt a need to buy one for herself, to help blend in with the localsafter a number of phone calls from Stanley, we finally got someone too come into the office to do our Customs clearancethen it was time for the 2 and half hour drive back to Port Resolution, with 5 people in the front and 10 or so more in the back, plus a few hundred kilos of supplies. The vehicle aged suspension was given a stress test.the local boys love their soccerand the girls love playing volleyballthree quarters of the way back, the vehicle pulled over, at a road side stall for the locals, in the back, to stock up on fruit and veg

after a very long day, it was nice to see the boats anchored in the harbourthe smoke from the hill in the background is not from a fire, but rather a volcanic vent.

50miles south of Tanna is the island of Aneityum (Anatom). Not an easy place to get too via sail, with the prevailing breeze from the SE. The forecast was a ENEly tomorrow, so we left at first light

for a nice quick sail down to Anatom