Vanuatu nav notes Sept. & Oct. 2012

We used two guides to help us navigate through Vanuatu:

The yellow guide, “Vanuatu, a cruising yachtman’s notes and drawings” by Bob Tiews and Thalia Hearne, South Pacific Cruising Series, Pub. by the Capt Teach Pressboat Books Ltd., 23B Westhaven Dr., Westhaven Marina, Auckland, NZ.  It’s hard to find, but the information is still accurate even though the 2nd edition was 1995.

The Tusker Cruising Guide was given to us as an electronic file and I can’t seem to find it online but do have a copy on my computer.  It offers a lot of information about many of the islands, along with charts and aerial views of the anchorages.

We also use Ray Marine Chart Plotter using Navionics.

 Sept. 4, 2012, Anelcauhat Bay, Anatom, Vanuatu

It took us 3 days to go from Denarau, Fiji to Anatom.  The last day we sailed 8-9kt on a beam reach in 20kt with 2 reefs in the main and the small jib.  Seas were less than 2m with 100% cloud cover.  It was cold and misting with periodic waves into the cockpit and lots of water over the bow.  Unfortunately we had 2.5kt current against us. We arrived at Anelcauhat Bay at 2pm and Richard, the Customs official, saw us and came aboard.  He has no radio but watches for arriving boats.  We were checked in by 4pm.  He did not take our rubbish but said we had to keep it contained in plastic until we reached Port Vila.

This is a large calm anchorage.  Mistery Island is adjacent to the bay, where cruise ships frequently deposit the tourists as they are not permitted to go into Anatom.  The “market” is overly commercial with foreign imports bought in Port Vila and transported down.  Three cruise ships stopped during the 4 days we were there.  Snorkeling off Mistery Island was disappointing with nothing to see.  Richard took us on a hike into the hills to look for the Immigration agent so we could check in and he also introduced us to some of the local women who make the beautiful ubiquitous baskets we see everyone using.  We were able to exchange NZ dollars for Vatu at the small bank.  There was no market and no provisions to be had.

Anchor waypoints:  20-14.195S, 169-46.583E

Wind/wave protection:  open to SW wind but protected from swells by a reef, very calm here


Bottom condition:  sand bottom with good holding

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy wide entrance

Shore access:  easy by dinghy

Bugs:  none

Weather:  rain off and on, chilly and windy, sometimes strong gusty winds 20-25kt

 Sept. 9, 2012, Port Resolution, Tanna

We left Anatom on Sept. 8 at 11pm and arrived in Port Resolution at 7:30am the next morning.  As we rounded the NE point at dawn, we could see the red glow of Yasur volcano.  There are several villages scattered around the bay but the predominant one is where Jocelyn and Sam live.  He’s the chief but she clearly runs things.  They have extensive gardens and are most generous in giving fruit and veggies.  I spent a day learning how to weave a basket while friends of ours, Secret Agent Man, dedicated almost a week of hard labor helping them make cement bricks and clear space for a new garden.  Snorkeling was not possible off the beach by the point because of the waves.  The trip to Yasur volcano was well worth the expense.  At the Yacht Club you wait for the truck to drive to the volcano park ($1500V pp, $3350V park entrance fee pp).  It was very chilly and windy when we went and a long hike up the cement stairs and a further hike up the sand hill.  Be sure to bring a good flashlight.  Back at Port Resolution Sarah and her husband have a small café, Avoca, selling Tanna coffee.  For $300V they serve French press coffee and cookies in a traditional hut and it’s a delightful opportunity to relax and get to know more about their culture.

Anchor waypoints:  19-31.532S, 169-29.702E

Wind/wave protection:  very rolly as swells wrap around the corner so we put out a stern anchor, bay is open to the NE


Bottom condition:  Black sand bottom, easy anchoring, good holding

Obstacles:  reef and bommies as you approach shore, but didn’t see anything in the middle of the anchorage

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy sand beach by dinghy

Bugs:  no bugs except occasionally some flies

Weather:  sunny then a day of rain

There were about 6 boats anchored when we arrived and there’s room for 10+ boats

Sept. 13, 2012, Dillon Bay, Erromango Island

We pulled the anchor at 8am and shortly thereafter a squall came through bringing wind 20-35kt with 2-3m choppy seas.   We put in a 2nd reef and noticed our top batten started to come out.  We made it into Dillon Bay at 4:30pm.  It was calm inside and we could hear the birds singing.  We were approached by David who wanted cigarettes and dvds.  We had neither.

Anchor waypoints:  18-49.271S, 169-00.696E – anchor north of the river off the big beach

Wind/wave protection:  N to S, exposed to the W

Depth:  10m

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy, roadstead

Shore access:  didn’t go ashore

Bugs:  none

Weather:  wind funnels through V of the land.  Very calm but windy

Sept. 16, 2012, Port Vila, Efate

We sat two days in Dillon waiting for the wind to die down.  After checking and rechecking the weather we decided to leave at 4pm and upped the anchor and sailed out into the sunset at 5:30pm.  We had a beautiful sail in 15-20kt wind and 1m seas.  Coming into Port Vila dolphins were swimming off the bow.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  We grabbed a mooring ball on the inside and checked in with Yachting World.

Anchor waypoints:  17-44.808S, 168-18.686E on a mooring ball inside

Wind/wave protection:  great


Bottom condition:

Obstacles:  well-marked narrow channel into anchorage with mooring buoys.  Also a power line you cross under to get into that area, our mast is 67ft and we were okay

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy by dinghy with dock at Yachting World

Bugs:  none

Weather:  not much wind inside

Sept 23, 2012, Esoma Bay in Havanna Harbor, Efate Island

We motored out Port Vila Harbor at 8am as church bells were chiming in a light mist.  About 2pm we anchored next to our pals on Yolo.  We decided to day hop from here up to Santo so we could see as many islands as possible.

Anchor waypoints:  17-33.493S, 168-16.457E

Wind/wave protection:  good

Depth:  30ft with slope to 16ft

Bottom condition:  coral crust with fine gravel, anchor came up clean

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy by dinghy but not much to see

Bugs:  a few mosquitoes on land

Weather:  misting, rain then clear

lots of jelly fish in the water

Sept. 24, 2012, Na Ora Matoua, Ngouna Island

Leaving Esoma Bay wind was up when we rounded the corner then dropped to nothing.  We flew the big jib with a reef in the main and as we approached the next point wind went up to 17-18kt beam reach.

Anchor waypoints:  17-25.548S, 168-19.389E

Wind/wave protection:  need to be close to shore to get protection from E

Depth:  anchored in 40ft but swung back to 50ft

Bottom condition:  rocky with sand patches

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy – roadstead

Shore access:  didn’t go in but it looked easy where there’s a small village

Bugs:  none

Weather:  clear skies

Sept. 25, 2012, Sulua Bay, Emae Island

Anchor up in Ngunga Island at 6:55am, anchored at 11am.

Anchor waypoints:  17-03.178S, 168-21.983E

Wind/wave protection:  tradewind protection

Depth:  40-21ft

Bottom condition:  low coral with sand patches, we anchored in blue sand patch at 21ft at the low part of the island in a valley causing a wind tunnel

Obstacles:  fringing reef either side – just okay for snorkeling

Entry/exit:  easy – roadstead

Shore access:  easy by dinghy, go past the building, ½ hour walk on road into small village

Bugs:  a few mosquitoes on shore none on the boat

Weather:  blue sky, windy and chilly in the am

Sept. 26, 2012, Revolieu Bay, Epi Island

Anchor up in Sulua at 7:45am and we zig-zagged with the wind 140-160 apparent, going 4-5kt.  Anchored here at 1:30pm near two other boats.  Snorkeled the reef but didn’t see much, then kayaked to shore.  Water is getting warmer but not so clear.  Met Chief Baron who gave us bananas, coconut and grapefruit, the best tasting grapefruit since forever.  He asked us to sign his cruiser book.

Anchor waypoints:  16-43.700S, 168-08.718E

Wind/wave protection:  good but some rolling in tradewind conditions

Depth:  20-40ft

Bottom condition:  flat and shallow, silt and black sand, can’t see the bottom

Obstacles:  fringing reef easy to see

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy by dinghy, village a 5 min. walk in

Bugs:  none on the boat but lots of flying bugs in the village

Weather:  sunny during the day, cool in the evening

Sept. 27, 2012, Lamen Bay, Epi

Left Revolieu Bay at 8:30am with overcast skies.  Anchored here at 11:20am.  Great snorkeling with big turtles who swim around the boat.  Reefs nearby not in good shape and only a few fish.  Didn’t see the dugong.  Met Bennington who introduced herself to us and sold us great fruit and veggies.  She has a pizza oven and bakes bread and things to sell and is a wonderful woman to meet.  She understands what cruisers want on their boat.  She’ll even come to your boat and give you cooking lessons with local food.  She’s one of the friendliest people we’ve met.

Anchor waypoints:  16-35.804S, 168-09.900E

Wind/wave protection:  calm first day, 2nd day swells from around the corner, good wind protection from the E

Depth:  35ft to 14ft near shore

Bottom condition:  all sand

Obstacles:  fringing reef easy to see

Entry/exit:  easy but watch for the reef on the side

Shore access:  easy by dinghy, villages are scattered around the bay, friendly, Sat. market and a tiny store

Bugs:  a few mosquitoes on shore & flies but not too bad

Weather:  overcast, chilly

Sept. 28, 2012, Baouma Point, Ambrym

Anchor up in Lamen at 8:30am and wind 12-15kt ESE, after leaving wind 21kt+.  Sailed up Ambrym’s west  coast in haze and smoke, motoring with wind at 6kt.   Anchored Baouma 3:30pm.  Black sand beach, fine sand to coarse gravel, with river mouth and hot sulfur-smelling water.   Karen (from Yolo) and I met Emma who walked from one of the villages.  She showed us a cave where they sleep, how to dig for crabs and showed us things they eat from the tidepools.

Anchor waypoints:  16-11.602S, 168-02.001E

Wind/wave protection:  good for wind from E

Depth:  around 30ft

Bottom condition:  black sand, can’t see the bottom

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy roadstead

Shore access:  easy by dinghy

Bugs:  too many flies on land and on the boat

Weather:  overcast with poor air quality, very smoky

Sept. 30, 2012, Ronan, Ambrym

Left Baouma at 11:30am and dropped the anchor at 1pm here in front of the village in 25-30ft.  Arranged for a guide to take us to a Rom dance ($4500 for 3 people + $500 for the guide).  It’s a 45-60 minute walk one way on a road and narrow dirt path up the hill to the top where the village is located.  Great walk with bird and cricket sounds and lots of villagers using the path.  Rom dance well worth seeing, loved the costumes but women can’t touch any of the costumes.

Anchor waypoints:  16-08.393S, 168-07.031E

Wind/wave protection:  great for tradewinds

Depth:  47ft to 25ft near shore

Bottom condition:  black sand and about 50ft visibility

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy by dinghy.  Small village on the beach with many villages spread around off the road

Bugs:  some flies on the boat, some mosquitoes on land

Weather:  clear sky, no smoke or haze

Oct. 1, 2012, Homo Bay, Pentecost

Left Ronan at 8am.  Once past the point, winds were 20-25kt and we sailed beam reach to Pentecost.  Anchored at 10:15am in 33 ft.  Wind 15-20kt at times with rain and drizzle most of the day.  We walked through the village to the tower previously used for land diving (now it’s in Wali Bay).  Snorkeled around Mushroom Rock but not much to see.

Anchor waypoints:  15-57.182S, 168-11.505E

Wind/wave protection:  good for SE tradewinds & calm but windy, not rolly

Depth:  starts at 300ft, then 80ft gradually shoaling up

Bottom condition:  sand bottom, good holding

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy by dinghy at the wharf.  Gravel and small rock shoreline, great dirt road

Bugs:  a few flies on shore, hardly any on the boat with the wind

Weather:  overcast, rain/mist and consistent wind about 10kt

Oct. 3, 2012, Waterfall Bay then on to Melsisi Bay, Pentecost

Left Homo Bay at 8:15am and had an easy sail up the coast.  Dropped anchor at 11:30am in Waterfall Bay.  The yellow Vanuatu cruiser book conflicted with what we saw.  Went to shore and asked permission to walk up to the waterfall.  We were told we had to pay $800V per person to see the waterfall so we declined.   The anchorage got rolly so we decided to head up around the corner in Melsisi Bay.  Dropped anchor at 2:30pm in 38ft.

For Waterfall Bay:

Anchor waypoints:  15-47.227S, 168-09.716E

Wind/wave protection:  not great protection from trades, swells coming through

Depth:  35-40ft

Bottom condition:  sand

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy by dinghy

Bugs:  none

Weather:  overcast


Anchor waypoints:  15-44.893S, 168-08.535E

Wind/wave protection:  not great protection from tradewinds , smaller swells than Waterfall Bay

Depth:  from 400ft to 80ft, then 60ft for a long way, then 35-40ft

Bottom condition:  sand

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy shore access but didn’t go ashore

Bugs:  none

Weather:  overcast

Oct. 4, 20012, Loltong, Pentecost

Left Melsisi at 8:30am with a 2nd reef in the main and the chart plotter in the cockpit dead.  Wind is up to 25kt on its way up to 28kt coming into Loltong.  Dropped the anchor at 12n.  Several groups of kids came by in their canoes to offer food and ask to come aboard.  The “yacht club” is a restaurant owned by Matthew and Mary who offer a lunch or dinner cooked the local way using all local foods they grow or are grown in the village.  Matthew is from Loltong but went to cooking school in Paris before coming back.  We had a memorable lunch.  They even accommodated my vegetarian preferences.  We highly recommend eating here and supporting this very friendly couple.  There’s also a “B&B” with flush toilet! and a couple other eating places very local style.

Anchor waypoints:  15-32.705S, 168-08.797E

Wind/wave protection:  good for trades, calm inside

Depth:  300-400ft then drops to 60ft, then 30ft quickly

Bottom condition:  mostly sand, some coral patches

Obstacles:  coral patches easy to spot

Entry/exit:  easy if you line up with the land marker

Shore access:  easy by dinghy in front of the “yacht club”

Bugs:  on shore mosquitoes & possibly flies

Weather:  rain and wind

Oct. 7, 2012, Asanvari, Maewo

We left Loltong at 9am and re-anchored in Asanvari at 11:30am.  We had difficulty finding a good anchor spot because it’s mostly coral.   Karen (Yolo) and I snorkeled most of the reef and found nothing of interest.  We snorkeled over to the waterfall in brown water with no visibility plus it shoaled up to big slimy rocks making for an awkward shore entrance.  The waterfall, though, is a must.  No charge to enter the cold pool they’ve made from the waterfall.  Very refreshing.  It would be a very long walk up over the hills and back to the village so we had to swim/snorkel back to our boats in the muddy water.  Before we left in the morning we had a visit from Columbus, the bread man.  He came out in his canoe selling hot out-of-the-oven rolls for $40V each and they were yummy.

Anchor waypoints:  1st attempt at 15-22.622S, 168-07.906E, too close to something (maybe Yolo or a bouy, can’t remember) so reanchored at 15-22.568S, 168-07.962E.  Yolo was in all sand 1 boat length to port, lucky them.

Wind/wave protection:  good for NE and SE

Depth:  200ft+ shoals quickly to 50ft, we anchored in 40ft

Bottom condition:  sand patches with low lying rocks, shore is lined with shallow reefs

Obstacles:  a couple of bommies

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  to the waterfall, dinghy over a shallow reef by the cement ramp with care, or snorkel in brown water but it’s worth seeing the waterfall.  Dinghy path to the village by the black bouy

Bugs:  flies

Weather:  overcast, hard to see for anchoring, showers at night, clouds hug the island top

Note about anchoring:  yellow and white buoys over a rock are good to anchor next to, but out a little because we wrapped around one of the buoys several times during the night, doing 360 from wind shifts

Oct. 8, 2012, Vanihe Bay, Ambae

Left Asanvari at 9:30am after unwrapping the anchor (and eating hot rolls).  No wind/waves and we anchored at 12n in Vanihe Bay instead of Lolowai Bay because it was too shallow for us.  Later we took the dinghy around the corner into Lolowai which had scattered villages and 2 tiny stores selling eggs and not much else.  A local advised us not to go into the water because sharks often come into the calm waters to feed.

Anchor waypoints:  15-16.598S, 167-58.455E in 8m of black sand

Wind/wave protection:  good for the trades but we had a wind change to NNW so became very rolly

Depth:  200ft to 60ft quickly then gradual slope to 40ft

Bottom condition:  black sand, good holding, anchor came up clean

Obstacles:  stuff at the edges of the small bay

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  in Vanihi it would be hard, steep sand beach with crashing waves, but in Lolowai easy with the dinghy

Bugs:  none

Weather:  hot, sunny, blue sky

Oct. 9, 2012, Ambore-Loone, Ambae

Left Vinihe at 8:25am and dropped the anchor here at 12n.  This was our only option unless we wanted to sail overnight (which we didn’t).  It’s a roadstead and looked impossible to land a dinghy on shore because of the strong waves against a rocky shore.

Approach waypoint:  15-21.292S, 167-45.928E with a reef .5nm NE

Anchor waypoints:  15-21.614S, 167-45.610E

Wind/wave protection:  not much, heavy waves so very rolly and bouncing a lot ie horrible

Depth:  around 40ft

Bottom condition:  probably sandy, anchor came up clean

Obstacles:  none except watch for the reef .5nm NE from approach WP

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  looks impossible

Bugs:  none

Weather:  scattered clouds, very warm, no breeze

Oct. 10, 2012, Peterson Bay, Santo

Couldn’t wait to leave Ambore-Loone because it was so rolly.  Pulled the anchor up at first light, 5:30am.  No wind, flat seas and we motored all the way in NO wind.  Dropped the anchor at 12:20pm in the most gorgeous setting.  Great snorkeling in the reefs.  We jumped off the boat to get there and also took the dinghy.  Lots of fish, shells and old airplane/military parts to look at.  Two amazing blue holes of fresh water a dinghy ride away, each down a separate river.  Great for bathing and washing clothes.  Water warm enough to not need a wetsuit.  This was our most favorite spot.

Anchor waypoints:  15-22.824S, 167-11.695E in 55ft

Wind/wave protection:  good, open to tradewinds behind a reef

Depth:  at the pass 16ft, anchored in 55ft

Bottom condition:  white sand

Obstacles:  2 poles for guides around the reefs

Entry/exit:  easy using the markers

Shore access:  good in all the islands and the dry spots are walkable

Bugs:  none, just a couple flies

Weather:  hot, little wind, then cloudy and a bit of rain

Oct. 13, 2012, Surundu Bay, Santo

Reluctantly left Peterson Bay at 10:40am and out the pass at 11am in hot weather with very little wind.  Anchored here at 12:25pm in a large bay with easy-to-spot reefs near shore.  Our best snorkel spot along with Peterson Bay.  Warm water, plenty of snorkeling options around reefs with fish and shells an easy swim from the boat.

Anchor waypoints:  15-27.399S, 167-13.535E in 25ft

Wind/wave protection:  wind protection good for E, S, W – wave protection good for E, S, NW

Depth:  into the pass at low tide 16-18ft w/bow watch, anchor area is big and flat less than 30ft

Bottom condition:  white sand

Obstacles:  reefs within a swim distance, very few coral heads all easy to spot

Entry/exit:  easy even in low tide with bow watch

Shore access:  good

Bugs:  none

Weather:  hot and sunny, water 89°, easy to sunburn w/o a wetsuit.  Refreshing evening breeze.

Oct. 15, 2012, Luganville, Santo

Left Surundu at low tide at 11am.  It was cloudy and hot with 9-10kt wind.  We tried to get a mooring ball (water’s too deep for us to anchor) in front of Aore Resort in the Segond Channel but the only available mooring ball was under water from the strong current and it was already 3:30pm.  We crossed the channel and after several failed attempts from the strong current and late-day visibility we anchored in front of Beach Front Resort.  After Peterson and Surundu this was a letdown.  More provisioning options and restaurants, etc. in Port Vila.

Anchor waypoints:  15-31.353S, 167-09.816E in 16ft of mud

Wind/wave protection:  reasonable for all directions but fetch issues with a current of about 1kt so rolly

Depth:  12-20ft – we anchored in 16ft but at one point we were in 12ft

Bottom condition:  thick sandy mud with good holding

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy, it’s in a wide channel

Shore access:  good but dinghy wheels help bring it a long way up to avoid tide changes

Bugs:  a few flies

Weather:  overcast, rain, a couple of brief squalls

Oct. 18, 2012, Southwest Bay/Metenovor, Malakula

It rained hard off and on all night in Luganville so very rolly.  Anchor up at 6am to take advantage of the 2.5kt+ of current with us.  Big tideline going into cloudy brown river water.  Made it to Georges Philippar Pass at 7am with 78ft at the bar and calm.  1ft standing breaking waves and 4kt+ current near the end of the pass.  Crossed several prominent tide lines with water color changing from green to mud brown then back to dark green.  15 minutes later only 1kt+ current and dropping.  Winds to 23kt over the deck and waves 1-1.5m.  We motor sailed hard and dead up wind tacking often.  Dropped the anchor at 6:10pm.  Overcast, misting, losing daylight and hard to see coming in but anchorage was flat 60ft going to about 20ft.

Anchor waypoints:  16-28.705S, 167-26.506E in 29ft

Wind/wave protection:  great, no rolling

Depth:  60ft, then 50ft to 20ft in gradual long slope

Bottom condition:  black sand with good holding

Obstacles:  none, at the edges a reef so give a wide berth

Entry/exit:  easy, we came in at dusk

Shore access:  unknown

Bugs:  none

Weather:  wind and rain but much nicer inside the bay than outside

Note:  Tuskers guide said to anchor at Lorlow Point bluff off 8m tall red sandstone but we had a hard time finding it.

Oct. 19, 2012, Awei Island, off Malekula Island

Anchor up at 8am in Southwest Bay.  Approaching and rounding the Westward point of Southwest Bay at 8:45am we had 1-2m choppy and confused seas over the bow with 25kt wind.  The wind stayed a steady 25kt all day but once we were around the SW point of Malekula the seas calmed a little but the swells increased.  The chart warned of big seas and it’s right.  Once inside the Maskelynes group of islands the seas and swells were gone.  We dropped the anchor at 3:45pm in 34ft we hoped was sand.  Reefs were all around.

Anchor waypoints:  16-32.049S, 167-46.222E

Wind/wave protection:  good protection but the wind funnels through, not rolly, very calm

Depth:  once in the small bay it went from 80ft to 20ft

Bottom condition:  black sand and a little mud

Obstacles:  lots of fringe reefs but easy to see

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  looks good, to a small beach but didn’t go in

Bugs:  none if the wind blows, a few flies

Weather:  rain

Oct. 21, 2012, Revolieu Bay, Epi – again

Before we left Awei, Savron came out in his canoe to say hello and explain he and his family live on the island.  Anchor up at 7:30am.  The first half of the day we tacked 6 times in 2kt current against us with 1-2m seas.  Once in the lee of an island and out of big wind and seas it was an easy trip in winds 22-23kt.  Anchor was down at 1:30pm here in 26ft.

Anchor waypoints:  16-43.720S, 168-08.712E

Wind/wave protection:  calm, good wind protection from the E

Depth:  35ft to 14ft near shore

Bottom condition:  all sand

Obstacles:  fringing reef

Entry/exit:  easy but watch for the reef on the side

Shore access:  easy, villages are scattered around the bay, friendly, Sat. market and a tiny store – this time we didn’t go in

Bugs:  a few mosquitoes on shore & flies but not too bad

Weather:  rain off and on, mild wind

Oct. 21, 2012, Esoma Bay in Havanna Harbor, Efate Island – again

We left Revolieu Bay at 5:30am in misty overcast weather and no wind.  We did one tack in bumpy lumpy seas, 21-27kt wind with waves over the deck and into the cockpit.  We sailed with the small jib and 2 reefs in the main.  Eventually got into Havanna Harbor and anchored at 3:30pm in 37ft about 100 yards S of the river.

Anchor waypoints:  17-33.464S, 168-16.477E

Wind/wave protection:  good

Depth:  30ft with slope to 16ft

Bottom condition:  coral crust with fine gravel, anchor came up clean

Obstacles:  none

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy but not much to see – didn’t go in this time

Bugs:  none

Weather:  blue skies, no rain, very calm

Oct. 22, 2012, Port Vila, Efate

We found ourselves in 14ft of water at low tide in Port Havana.  No rain during the night but a brief bit at 5:30am and still calm inside.  Pulled the anchor at 7am and saw lots of jellyfish and a few turtles in the water.  No wind, then 15 minutes later 15kt.  We sailed in 20kt wind in the channel with blue skies.  We saw it was overcast on Efate and once out of the channel going South wind picked up to 25kt and we could see Efate in mist.  We made it back to mooring ball #20 at 12:15pm.

Anchor waypoints:  17-44.864S, 168-18.652E on a mooring ball inside

Wind/wave protection:  great


Bottom condition:

Obstacles:  well-marked narrow channel into anchorage with mooring buoys.  Also a power line you cross under to get into that area, our mast is 67ft and we were okay

Entry/exit:  easy

Shore access:  easy by dinghy with dock at Yachting World

Bugs:  none

Weather:  not much wind inside

5 thoughts on “Vanuatu nav notes Sept. & Oct. 2012

  1. Hi Jim and Linda,
    we are leaving Brisbane at the beginning of May, going South for a wile and than change course, we are on a aluminum ketch….. with a long range fuel reserve…..
    We wonted to join the Brisbane to Vanuatu rally but this year is not going to happened. So we are on our own.
    The program would be to explore Vanuatu for 2 months (until end of June) before moving to Fiji.
    Never been there, any suggestion is very welcome.
    Way are you saying that is too early in the season?
    Magnificent photos on your website.
    Best regards

  2. hi andrea, i’m sure you’ll see a lot of boats in fiji in july and august, not sure about vanuatu that early in the season. we’ll leave nz end of may, weather permitting, and head back to fiji for 2-3 months, then over to vanuatu. what boat are you on and where are you sailing from?

  3. Wow, loads of good info. Planning to explore Vanuatu in May-June And Fiji in July – August. Anybody around that time?

  4. thanks, bob. so when are you and lori going to sail over here? both fiji and vanuatu are really something special.

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