We had a great passage from Ovea to Tanna; full sail on a beam-reach, making 7-9 knots in surprising comfort. So much so that our passage was much faster than anticipated and we hove-to for 4 hours in the early morning off the south coast of Tanna. My just-in-time navigation nearly failed us when I discovered our electronic charts covered Tanna at a useless 1:1 million resolution and the only paper chart we had of the area showed the island at a similarly unhelpful scale. The chart was based on an Admiralty survey of 1853-1894 and it was unclear which if any datum was used, making GPS position plots relatively useless. It all made for an exciting slow search round the coast of the actively volcanic island, imagining we were chartless Captain Cook. The illusion was shattered when we recognized Port Resolution by the yacht masts already at anchor.
The photos don't really do justice to the beauty of the village and surrounding bush. It feels a privilege to glimpse the traditional way of life the Ni-Vanuatu people lead and yet be welcomed and able to communicate easily with locals, even though our worlds are so different.
Johann and Inga on Adriatica turned up last night, more Scandinavians friends from Whangarei - is there anyone left in Scandinavia? At times it seems as though half the population of Scandavian are at sea. Great to catch-up with them and confirm rumours that our blog entry about the confiscation of our Whangarei market garlic had been reprinted by the local paper and I hope increases market sales as well as publicise the garlic pilfering quarantine regime in Noumea.
It's sad to leave Tanna so soon and miss out on a visit to the John Frumm cult (a cargo cult) tribe who worship the Duke of Edinburgh as a long lost son of their tribe and believe he will return one day to lead them, as well as all the helpful friendly people we've met in Port Resolution.
Sailing up the east-coast of Tanna we had a great view of Mount Yasur and could hear and as well as see the eruptions. Impressive.
We're busy working our way through our veggies locker in preparation for the health inspectors at Port Vila - Green bean and christophine(?) curry tonight, with "king of rice" (recipe (c) Ian Aim)- in the absence of a fish, not too shabby.
Great trade-wind sailing in 15 knots of wind, full main, poled out genoa and rolling along with the wind behind us. As the sun sets we've Erromango island to the east and Efate 80 miles to the north-west.
Position @ 18.00 (GMT-11); S18°54.9' E168°51.6'