We left Denarau, Fiji on Saturday, Sept. 1. We reestablished our lost sea legs the first day (no appetite so good for weight loss) as we sailed 7-8kt in 20kt wind and 1-2mt swells from the South and confused seas. Took several big waves into the cockpit – time for foul weather gear. Sunday was a beam reach and smooth sailing downwind and we had a great full moon display all night. Monday we motored half the day with current against us. The wind kicked in to 20kt in the afternoon and we sailed 8-9kt (!!) beam reach with 2 reefs and small jib blasting us through the water in -2mt seas late Monday through our arrival Tuesday. Plenty of water over the bow and a little in the cockpit and 2-2.5kt current against us. We made up for the slowness and arrived in Anatom at 2pm Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Customs saw us and came to the boat (they have no radio) and checked us in. Next day we went ashore to get vatu$$ – bank is only open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30am-12, 1-3:30 (4:00 Friday). We took the dinghy over to Mystery Island for the “market” which is set up for the frequent cruise ships. Very touristy but well organized. Unfortunately most of the locals sell cheap tourist Chinese/Indian stuff they bought in Port Vila but I did find one woman who weaves her own beautiful baskets and sells them at a great price. We were told tourists can’t bring woven items through customs back in AUS so they offer the junk instead. Currently our winds are 20-25kt and chilly outside. We’ve got good holding in this wind and plenty of swing room. We tenatively plan to leave in a couple days, as soon as the wind dies down, heading for Port Resolution on Tanna, to see the volcano. There are no stores for provisioning here in Anatom, but we were assured by a local woman they have plenty of papayas and coconuts and some of the villagers have tomatoes for trade. We also saw pumpkins and mangoes growing for later in the year. Customs said we have to hold our trash until we get to Port Vila. That alone will hurry us along, plus the promise of internet. We are currently using the sat phone for emailing. More to come, along with photos when we get to Port Vila.