Monday, October 31, 2011

Sailing into the Sunset

We're heading west again. While it's a little sooner than we had expected, we left Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, at 3 p.m. today, after getting word that today was the day to go. We've hired a weather router to reinforce our own reading of the weather given that tomorrow, November 1, is the official start of cyclone season in the South Pacific. In addition, this last leg taking us to Australia can be the most challenging in terms of weather and sea conditions. And our weather router indicated last night that the sooner we leave this week (as in today), the better. If we don't leave today, we could be waiting another couple of weeks for the next weather window.

This has cut our time in Vanuatu short. We've barely become accustomed to this new fascinating country - perhaps the most foreign to us of any we've seen so far - and have only managed to see the island of Tanna and the city of Port Vila on Efate. There was so much more to see. Such is the life of the sailor - where weather controls your every move.

We were off the boat at 7:30 a.m. today clearing off garbage, getting our provisions for the next two weeks until we hit Australia, checking out of immigration and customs, filling our propane tank to ensure we can cook, and then finding out that the gas station ran out of fuel until 1:30 this afternoon. While waiting, we cooked up some chili for dinners along the way (I don't often feel like cooking on the first few days of a passage), and were hovering around the fuel dock for when it opened.

While our departure came on short notice, we're ready to get to where we're going. Setting off today sent bittersweet chills up my spine knowing that as we head further west, it's taking us closer to home.

-Barb, en route Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu to Chesterfield Reef, New Caledonia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean
17 degrees 52.930 minutes South
167 degrees 21.304 minutes East
At 10/31/2011 05:51 (utc) our position was 17°46.03'S 168°09.18'E

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1 comment:

  1. Happy sailing! Enjoy the tranquil moments...
    Love you all!