Sept. 28 – day hopping north of Efate

When we left Efate island with Yolo, we decided to day hop to the northern islands instead of doing an overnight sail and bypassing smaller islands and bays. That means up at 6am, and the anchor up before 7am to sail to the next destination and have most of the day to play. Our first stop was Dark Sand Point on Efate about 5.5 hours away. As we left Port Vila the church bells were chiming and it was misting. As we approached the small bay it rained buckets for about half an hour and the boat got a good wash. Weather cleared and we took a stroll on the beach but not much to see.
Next morning, Sept. 24, we spotted lots of small jellyfish in the bay as we left at 6:50am. We had blue skies and no wind so out came the big jib. As we approached the next point wind built to 17-18kt on a beam reach (wind across the middle of the boat). We anchored at 10:20am on Ngouna Island at Na Ora Matoura Bay between two big hills that became a wind tunnel. Neither of us wanted to put forth the effort to get our dinghies in the water so we hunkered down and enjoyed the wind and the cool temps.
On Sept. 25, we sailed to Emai island, Sulua village, and dropped the hook in a perfect little sand spot among coral patches. We had a nice walk on the island and watched them clear trees for their road.
Sept. 26, we stopped at Revolieu Bay on Epi island. I snorkeled a bit (not much to see) from my kayak then paddled to shore and joined everyone for beachcombing and walking the shoreline. While Jim and Jason were lounging in the shade, Chief Baron spotted Karen and I on the beach and invited us into his village to sign his cruiser book. It was a small village of about 5 families with lots of kids and dogs. He sent us off with coconut, grapefruit and bananas. That ruby grapefruit was the best ever and I’d buy a sack full if I could. Later we met Bruce on SeaGoing who’s done the crossing from here to NZ many times. Bruce gave us valuable information about weather and locations.
Sept. 27, we tacked our way over to Lamen Bay (Epi). The anchor was in the water by 11:20am and we were snorkeling with turtles soon after. We went in search of the dugong (sea cow) with no luck. Today we went to shore and Karen and I met Bennington who is quite an accomplished gardener and cook. She took us back to her village and showed us her flower gardens and took our order for fruit and veggies she’ll bring to the Saturday market tomorrow. People show up at 5am but we won’t make it there until after 6am. We talked with her extensively about cooking island veggies & fruit and she showed us her pizza oven where she bakes banana bread and pies. The proceeds from her sales help her raise money for her kids’ education. After pockets full of shells and fresh grated coconut, we returned to our boats motivated to use the “island cabbage” which looks like green leaves to us.
Tomorrow, after the market, we head up to Ambryn island which is known for their black magic and their carved tamtam drums. Weather has been cool and overcast, great for lounging but not so good for snorkeling or spotting coral bommies coming into anchorages.

One thought on “Sept. 28 – day hopping north of Efate

  1. Even though I don’t respond to these, I LOVE receiving them. I meet a man over the weekend that for a few years, did the same thing you are doing … sailing around the world. His stories were very similar to yours. It sounded like heaven.

    Nancy Munroe
    Secretary to Alicia J. Farquhar, Jeanna C. Steele,
    Lauren Phillips, Jennifer Cone, Allison Crow
    and Candida Malferrari
    Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
    650 Page Mill Road
    Palo Alto, California 94304-1050
    Main: 650-493-9300
    Direct: 650-845-5944
    Fax: 650-565-5100
    Please consider the environment before printing this email

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