It was a week of crossing things of my bucket list, first a VILLAGE FEEDER, then Ureparapara (Ura-para-para).
The island is an old volcanic cone that has been breached by the sea on its east coast, resulting in a look identical to the Pacman, from the Pacman video game the guide said the anchorage, at the SWen end of the harbour was not pleasant in even a moderate breeze, due to the high sides of the volcano, resulting in gusty bullets of wind, ricocheting around the harbour.
The weather forecast was for 10-15kts of southerly for the next day, then light winds for 5 days….ideal conditions to get to Ureparapara, then prefect for anchoring there.
We had no wind as we motored up the west coast of Gaua, then light winds as we motored up the west coast to Vanua Lava, and then rolling 25-30kt rain squalls as we sailed out from behind Vanua Lava. Challenging to say the least, especially to be coming into a new novel anchorage like Divers Bay in Ureparapara.
Unfortunately I was too preoccupied sailing Logic in the pouring rain to take any photos.
Identifying the entrance to Divers Bay, with the wind funneling down the eastern side of the island, in rain, was “interesting”, but ultimately a “walk in the park”. Once inside the entrance there was no wind.
The anchorage was good holding mud, with the depth rising rapidly to 10mts, close to the coral on the shore. the village was on the shore, with the dingy access through a gully in the reef (Albert has a ring around it)after a recovery overnight sleep, we woke to our first Ureparapara sunrise and an appreciation of this amazing place then it was time to go ashore, to be welcomed by chief Nickelson, whose wife Melody put lays around our necks
I bought a few of the boys back to Logic to blow up a soccer and volley ballthen it was time for a wonder around the villageand visit the churchThere Anglican religion is a big part of their lives (don’t miss reading, the writing above my head, on a very old and tired piece of particle board) Ninian and Grace, dropped by in a dugout, on their way back from their garden, on the other side of the Baywith some kamala (neatly wrapped in palm leaves), which was part of the trade, for the 12kg wahoo, we had arrived with.
It was agreed that Karl, the custom chief John and his son Benson, would go out night spear fishing, while I waited ashore drinking kava with Tamtam (and his inspirational beard platting)
It was a typical story of been left at the pub for hours, waiting for a friend to return.
I do not recommend drinking 7 shells of kava (and a few cones), I was seriously kava stoned. They spearfishermen returned with a crayfish for me, that I vaguely remember eating. I needed support to walk back to Albert, for Karl to take me back to Logic.
The next day was Sunday, Edward came out in a dugout, to collect the bottle of red I had promised for communional wine, for this morning church service
then it was off too church
We have all been in those tacky tourist shops, selling T shirts, that are so awful, we wonder who would ever ware them. Well now you know, they get given to charity and end up being worn by someone in the third world, who has no idea what the writing means.then it was time to put the drone up (with a big audience)
Then a walk back across this rustic bridgeI had come ashore the previous afternoon on a SUP, but there was no way I could have gone back on it, after 7 shells of kava, so John, had taken it to up from the beach. From where the boys joyously carried it down for me.
I was told, that only a few of the children had come out to Logic yesterday and now the rest wanted to come out. So in the piled into Albertthey were like those solder ant, one sees on the Discovery Chanel doccos, they kept on comingLogic was a very different place with a dozen effervescent excited children onboardKarl took them back to shore
there had not been a cargo boat (supply ship), come to Ureparapara, for several months, so I was asked to do a provisioning run from the village to Moto Lava, 25miles away. So early next morning 6 of the locals came onboard.leaving Ureparaparagoing around the Reef Islands (with Vanua Lava in the background)then onto Moto Lavathe anchorage at Moto Lava was spectacular, just behind this small rock Island with 2 coconut palms on itUnfortunately the anchorage was a shelf of sand in 20mts, just beside the reef, with a 40mt drop off just behind. Not somewhere I was happy leaving Logic for more than a few hours. So I went ashore for a few hours to have a walk around Rah Island with Tamtam, then took Albert over to Moto Lava. A lovely couple of islands. I had a single shell of kava (to be social with Tamtam), then back to Logic.
The boys had a big night on the kava, socialising. all piling back on board in the morning
and then crashing asleep, throughout the boat on the journey back to Ureparapara
Chief Nickelsonthe fishing gods were not with us, so I stopped and set off 4 boys in Albert with all my spearfishing and snorkeling gear, to hit the hot spearfishing spot on the south side of Ureparapara on the way home.again no luck.
Then into Divers Bay to unload the bags of rice, etc..it was Custom Chief John’s Birthday, so we had a celebratory beer on Logic, with this youngest of 8 children, CullumI found Cullum a T shirt (in the bag of trading goods that Miriam had left) and a tennis ball
It would not be Vanuatu, if we did not get an invite ashore for Kava, the night before we left.
John’s son Benson did the cutting upand John got the active ingredient out of the pulp
still another 2 blogs to do before I have caught up, which I am interspacing with socialising with the other cruisers anchored in Luganville, and jerry caning fuel from the service station ashore, etc….