We were all up on deck this morning having a leisurely breakfast, when a pod of around 12 young dolphins swam into the bay. They stayed and played in the bay for about an hour before disappearing back out to sea. Bob, Lesley and I went ashore to snorkel. The reefs here sustained some serious damage from the last cyclone and are not in a healthy state. The snorkeling was nice but nothing special given the condition of the reefs. I tried to walk on the beach but it was so littered with sharp broken bits of coral and s was difficult to walk on. Eventually back on board we spent the rest of the day relaxing. We played a couple of games of Pandemic in the evening, and managed to save the world twice…
We spent another couple of days in the bay just relaxing, reading and swimming before leaving for Portvila. Bob had cut his shin on the companionway step a couple of days ago, it was infected and swollen, Don was taking care of it, hopefully antibiotics won’t be necessary. The water in the beautiful Pacific may be gloriously clear, but its full of bacteria, and cuts easily become infected.
We arrived back in Portvila at 4pm on Monday 14th, having enjoyed a lovely brisk sail back. We met some friends Craig and Caroline as we came alongside, and enjoyed a fun evening of beer & cocktails with them at the Waterfront bar.
The next few days were all about preparations to leave for the passage to Australia, mountains of laundry, cleaning, provisioning and stowing, boat repairs, maintenance, refueling and putting the jib sail back up after being repaired, only to discover it still had more holes in it than a colander. Instead of a quick job of raising the sail, it took over 4 hours in the blistering hot sun patching all the tears. Quite what the repair people thought giving it back to us in that state, I can’t imagine.
Some other friends John & Debbie, from Oddity, were in the bay and we managed to catch up with them one evening for sundowners.
The night before leaving we attended the Oyster party at a beach bar on the front in Portvila. It was fun to catch up with some of the other rally participants.