At the top of Esperito Santo there is big bay, with the unoriginal name of Big Bay
My genome has programed me to wonder what’s over the next hill, Big Bay is a place few cruisers go, but the few that had, had enjoyed their time there. So of course I had to sail around there from Port Olry.
on my way around the top I landed another VILLAGE FEEDER, not as big as the last wahoo VILLAGE FEEDER, so the fishing gods, added a 6kg mahi mahi to the aggregate, to bring the total fish kgs, to a new recordIn keeping with my growing beard, I felt like Santa Clause, taking all that fish ashore, to Chief Bill and his wife Shelly (with Markell and Katelyn), to distribute around the village
Big Bay is gorgeous, with big long black sand beaches and flat seas
arriving with all that fish, gave me celebrity status, so of course I was invited to kava that night, One of the telco is currently building the telephone tower to give Big Bay mobile telephone reception for the first time. The guys supervising the construction joined Bill and I for kava. the next morning Bill took me with him for a walk up to the constriction site.
walking through a coconut plantation on a path that meandered, avoided walking under the nuts. (his bag is made from an empty rice sack)
then up the steep bit to a clearing, with a perfect view down to Big Baythen around to the telco tower construction siteit would appear that demand for Safety Officers in Vanuatu is non-existent. jackhammering in flip-flops, ceased in the western world, decades ago.
Provisioning concerns in Vanuatu are non-existent when you arrive with a VILLAGE FEEDER, fresh fruit and veg, keeps on being offered to meplus I am catching enough fish, to go on one of those meat only, paleo dietsHarry’s plantains, fried in locally produced coconut oil are delicious plus I am getting even better at baking bread I went ashore with the drone, and had a great time, playing a game of chasing the children with itthen sent it up for the aerial view of the anchoragethere was a very strong flow of fresh water coming out of the creek, in front of the anchoragein the afternoon it was woman only in creek area in front of Logic and men only, further upstream for the afternoon bathing. I was advised to refrain from even walking past on the outer sandBy Now I had attracted a big audience, watching me fly the drone
then it felt like a good idea to go for a long walk along the beachdown to the monument to the Spaniards who built a settlement in Big Bay in 1606 (calling the island Esperito Santo)(somewhere in the photo bombing by all the children, is a head bust of Pedro Fernández de Quirós)
When I got back to the SUP, John Peter, told me that he was going to have a go on it. Ni-vanus are definitively not as big on pleases and thankyous, as we are. So after I gave him a lesson on my definition of politely asking, he was offJohn Peter and Simon the next morning Chief Bill and Shellie’s sons Fraser and Markell and John Peter, lead me on a walk through the Conservation unlogged rainforest behind the villageThe speed with which tropical rainforests recycle nutrients is a lot quicker than the sub-tropical rainforests I spent decades walking inthe turn around point of the walk, was an enormous buttressed tree
when we got back, Bill was collecting coconut flesh for copra, to sell to the oil extractorsafter the walk I was having a relax back on Logic, when 20-30 0f the local boys swam outasking to have a lookover of the boat
I followed them ashore on a SUP, and gave them a lesson on paddling itthis girl, had the best Side Show Bob, from the Simpsons, hairand this girl was so photogenicthis boy and I share a namethe weather window for going down the east coast of Santo had arrived, so reluctantly I left Big Bay (but will be coming back in September to go down the west coast, with Chief Bill, as crew).
On the way around the top I caught another VILLAGE FEEDERI swapped the head and stomach for a couple of beers at the resort at Hogs Harbour that evening. I tried to give some away to the other boat that was anchored there, but they were vegan.
On the way south from Hogs Harbour, I caught another VILLAGE FEEDERThe cockpit looked like a Butcher Shop, as I cut it into give away size pieces Luckily there was a dozen other cruising yachts anchored in Luganville when I got there, so I gave my Santa Claus beard a brush, loaded up a couple of buckets with 25kg of fish to give away, and got rid of it allscoring a dinner invite in the process one of the problems with having VILLAGE FEEDERS as my target species, is the damage they do to the lure skirts. so it was off to the fishing tackle shop for some replacement skirtsI had already replaced this 11/0 hook after I hooked a very big wahoo, while doing 12ktsas I was leaving to go south the gearbox for the port motor was not right, so I turned back and dropped the anchor. I could not find anything wrong with the gearbox, so I jumped in the water to check the propeller. To find it jammed half opened. I could not release it under water, so I pulled it and it’s shaft out, to work on it above water.it took a few hours of working on it with a lovely guy from one of the other boats, to find the cause, the petiole of one of the blades had a 3mm bend in it (which explained the loud bang I heard, motoring down the coast, when it must has clipped a floating log).
So now I was in need of a hydraulic jack to straighten it. It took a bit of walking around Luganville asking anywhere that looked mildly prospective, to get a lead to a shed full of old motors and other assorted rusty junk (a very similar look to the sheds my grandfather had, when I was an adolescence). Hidden away in amongst the rusty old motors was a functional hydraulic jack, that would have been left behind when the American Army left the island in WW2.it took a few goes (and a welding rod under the end) to get it straight againI was very happy, when it all went back together and the propeller, opened and closed freely. Gaven gave me a hand to put it back in, and the slight shake went away, when I redid the alignment of the shaft with the motor.
Time to get back into adventurer mode.