Erupting volcanos, mid-ocean reefs and landfall in Australia!

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Leaving Fiji through the Malolo pass (in the background). The 450 mile passage from Musket Cove, Fiji to Vanuatu was quick but a little bumpy with 3.5 metres swells left over from a squash zone near New Zealand.

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Stops anchored in Port Resolution, Tanna. Hammer our Japanese single-hander on Maverick 2 had got in that morning as well and had already organized a trip to the Volcano!

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Glenda showing off the truck that we took up the volcano. It was a bumpy offroad ride that had our teeth chattering!

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Saw many huge banyan trees on the way.. reminded me of Lord of the Rings!

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Glenda climbing up the crater of the live volcano.. duh.. duh.. duh..

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The Volcano erupts!

 

We waited until dark and took a video of the two craters erupting and bubbling with red hot lava. It’s amazing that they let us get so close to the live volcano. 

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After Tanna we wanted to sail to Port Vila to check in but got derailed by a newly formed trough that was not forecasted and decided to wait it out at Erromango island.

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Approaching Port Vila after an overnight from Erromango.

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Port Vila is supposed to be one the most beautiful ports in the south pacific and it did not disappoint. Here is the view from the top of our mast.

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The dinghy dock next to Yachting World, whos mooring we picked up.

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Celebrating landfall with local Tusker beer named after the huge tusks on pigs from Vanuatu.. We also had Tusker beer in Kenya but that was named after the tusks on elephants..the real thing!

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This tiny sea plane kept taking off and landing right next to us in the anchorage.. James Bond would have loved it.

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“Yu Nidem Help? Mi Helpem you”  The local language Bislama a form of pidgin English was pretty amusing..  

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“Sigaret I Kilim Man”

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Walking along the beautiful waterfront in Port Vila..

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Glenda really got into the swing of things..

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A kava bar.. Vanuatu's Kava was a lot stronger that Fiji's and was sold at these local kava bars which were equivalent to local pubs.. except all the locals were spitting and clearing their throats to get rid of the kava taste. Some local Aussies we befriended Claire, Gurleen, Dylan took us to one of the popular kava bars. It was a pretty cool experience, and we got a little tipsy on kava.

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Glenda at the market provisioning for the passage to Bundaberg, Australia via Chesterfield Reef

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Final sunset drinks…

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with the final beautiful sunset in Port Vila..

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Leaving Port Vila the next morning for the 600 mile passage to Chesterfield Reef..

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Beautiful sailing with the asymmetric spinnaker in 10-12 knots of breeze with less than 1m swells. It didn't last long and we were soon in 20 knots with 2.5m+ swells.

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Nope the GPS wasn’t on the blink. I navigated using the sextant for the passage from Port Vila to Chesterfield Reef. I am hoping to use this as a qualifying ocean passage to get to next and final Yachtmaster level: Ocean

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Arriving at Chesterfield reef! a uninhabited horseshoe shaped reef in the middle of the ocean between New Caledonia and Australia.

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Sunset at Chesterfield Reef with 8 other boats.. We had a potluck and bonfire one the beach with some of our buddy boats S/V Discovery, S/V Ceiydh & S/V Connect4.

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The beaches on the reef were magnificent..

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Yes another beautiful beach..

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The coral reef was also exposed in a lot of places.

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And incredible amount of birds.. Chesterfield was supposed be a UNESCO bird sanctuary… no kidding.

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A bobbie in it’s nest.. They were so many of them everywhere.

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After nearly a week, we left Chesterfield through the south west pass bound for Australia!

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Can you see it? Australia Ahoy! The 450 mile passage was one of our best ever. Ideal tradewinds of 12-16 knots on our quarter and 1-1.5m swells.

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Glenda slighty happy, as we go through the Bundaberg Port channel markers.

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Sudden Stops enjoying a well earned rest in a Bundaberg Marina slip.. It was great to be back in civilisation but we started missing the south pacific islands almost immediately.

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According to the ship’s log we had covered 10,303 nautical miles from San Francisco to Bundaberg. Almost half way around the planet!

Next stop Sydney, some 600 miles to the south.

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Author: Chet

Avid sailor.

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