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August 1, 2007 Wed
We went over to New Dawn in the morning and sat chatting with them for a while. They wanted us to look at their medical kit and see if there was anything that we needed. They are slowly trying to thin out their boat since they will be selling the boat at the end of the cruising season this year. We ended up with a few things we needed and then she was going to give the peace core woman the rest to distribute as well as some other things. I had gathered a few things for Jocelyn and her family so in the afternoon we left to go run our errands. We were on our way in one dingy when my back started to spasm so I asked to be dropped back off at home to rest for the day. There was no way I would not be able to walk around. I felt very sad to be left behind and not to be able to hang out with Jocelyn today. I read my book almost all afternoon. Jonah left this afternoon for Port Villa on the Island of Efate. We will be leaving tomorrow most likely as well. We are the last two boats here in the bay of the 6 that were here.
August 2, 2007 Thurs
We prepared the boat for our journey in the early morning and Jason went to pick up the two men that were coming along as passengers. They brought us presents for taking them. They were so grateful. Ross dropped me off at the beach so I could go up and say goodbye to Jocelyn and her family. I found her in bed. She was very depressed we were leaving. We both started crying. I gave her some paper and pens so she could write to me. This is the hard part of sailing, leaving people behind. They open their hearts and homes for you and then you leave. I know it must be very hard for her. She gave me a bread maker someone had given to her to bring to her sister that lives in Port Villa. Her son carried it down for me. She wanted to give me more things but I refused them and just told her how lucky I felt to have been able to feel like part of her family. Jason picked me up and when I got back to the boat we lifted the anchor and set sail. The men were very helpful if Jason asked them to do something. We caught two small yellow fin tunas right before my nap time. I prepared one for dinner for the guys and then went to crash around 6:30. I did not get much sleep. My shift was nice a big moon but no stars. Wilson, one of the Tanna men we were taking across with us was up for some of my watch just to be out in the night air. It was a good passage. We slowed down on my watch which I was bummed about but we speed up as soon as we took down the pole. I hate having it up at night because if we need to take it down I have to wake up Jason. New Dawn was on our starboard side next to us and before I knew it they had tacked and were way behind on the port side. Our speed picked up for the rest of my shift and Jason came on around 3:30am. His shift was great too and was making great speed.
August 3, 2007 Fri
I was awoken by loud noise on deck right by my head! I peeked up top and Jason was struggling with a huge Mahi Mahi! It was at least 30 pounds. It was huge. I never saw one so big. Unfortunately, we did not get a picture. I was so shocked at the way I woke up and at how big this fish was that I forgot to grab the camera! We gave the head to the passengers since they love them. We also gave them a few pieces. We arrived in Port Villa around 2pm. We dropped them off at the dock and then proceeded to check out the town. We ended up getting really hungry by 5pm and went back to the boat to cook up some fish. We gave Jonah a piece for dinner as well. We passed out at 8pm we were so exhausted from our trip.
August 4, 2007 Sat
We woke up around 8am for the morning net on the vhf radio. We both felt so rested! We left for town by 10am so that we could get to the market before it closed at 12:30. We walked all around the town checking out the stores. It was fun. My back was not doing well though so we stopped and I had 10 min massage that really helped. I was better to continue walking around for the rest of the afternoon. We found out that the lettuce here can have a parasite on it and that you should wash it with some special stuff. Of course, this was after we ate it last night for dinner. I washed all the leaves off but not with any special solution. I just hope we are lucky! So we have 8 heads of lettuce and cannot eat it until we get this new solution. We made up a bunch of sushi and went over to New Dawn’s for dinner. We were all stuffed after the sushi and then had Laura’s cookies. I was not able to enjoy them and they looked so very delicious. They had the big button chips in them. Laura even ate some sushi and she never has eaten raw fish before. She said she liked it. We ended up staying late at their boat just talking and hanging out. It was a nice night.
August 5, 2007 Sun
Everything is closed today so the boys were going to go surfing and I was going to hang out with Laura watching chick flicks at her boat. In the morning I was cleaning the boat and Jason came back after only being gone for 2 hours. I guess Ross is not feeling well so they decided not to go after all. They are still going to watch girly movies so I went over there and Jason went to explore the surf beach. We had a super nice day. The movies were great. Ross was a good sport. Jason and I went home and cooked up some fish and then spent the rest of the evening trying to plan where we are going to go the rest of this season and where we will end up for cyclone season. We spent too much time in Fiji due to Doug’s wedding and the time we spent in the US and so we are way too far behind schedule to really make it to Thailand without missing so much that we wanted to see. We really want to spend some time in the Indonesian Islands because it has such good surfing and diving. It does not make sense for us to sail all those miles without stopping and with my back in the shape it is in right now it really is not an option. So, we will end up in Australia at the end of the year. We will go to the Solomon Islands after we finish in Vanuatu and stop in New Caledonia and then sail across to Australia. We realized that when we were talking about traveling our reason was for spending more time in places so that we could get to know the culture and the people. If we just focus on the circumnavigation we will miss out on all that. So, we may not make it all the way around, but at least we are having the kind of experiences that were our original goals of the journey!
August 6, 2007 Mon
Laurel Worked on the website as well as sorted through all of our photos. We exchanged pictures with a couple of friends so we had many photos some of which were duplicates. But, it was worth it because sometimes they just catch something we missed! We went snorkeling in the afternoon way across the bay to another bay where there is a resort. It was very nice but a long and rough dingy ride there. We saw some cool fish though. Afterwards we took a shower and went into to the yatch club and met some of our friends there. We drank beers and played cards the rest of the evening.
August 7, 2007 Tues
Today was very exciting. I worked on our tax return and cleaned the boat! I also finsihed the website getting it up to date. We went with some friends out to the Thai resturant in town. The food was horrible ut it was fun. We all dressed up for the occasion (by this I mean our nice flip flops).
August 8, 2007 wed
We took a taxi to the waterfall here in Port Villa. It was a nice but short hike and the waterfall was spectacular. Laura and I jumped into the pool at the bottom of the waterfall and swam around. It was chilly but was fresh water and it is always a pleasure swimming in fresh water!! Jason and Ross jumped in from the Rocks! There is also a little waterslide here, a nartural one. It is very obscure and if someone would not have told us it was there we would never have noticed it. It was not a big one but Jason and Ross went down it anyway. They decided it was not fun enough so just jumped off the cliffs. Afterwards we stopped on the way back at Jill's Cafe. Which is owned by two Americans living in Vanuatu. We all shared the "San Diego Zoo" which was 16 scoops of ice cream with mint syrup, caramel, and chocolate with tons of whip cream. We all devoured it!! Afterwards we ordered hamburgers and french fries!! The movie is tonight at one of the bars so Laura and I walked over to get seats while Jason and Ross went to the boat to drop off the stuff and bring us some warm cloths. The movie was pretty good and the place was packed! After the movie they put on great music and had dancing.
August 9, 2007 Mon
Finished working on the website and photos. I went into the numbawone café to upload the website and to download our Quicken. Unfortunately, I was having trouble with both. I finally was able to upload the website but the Quicken was not working. I could not get any of our financial institutions updates onto our computer which was very frustrating and expensive! Jason and I went to see Fiona Jocelyn’s niece to bring her the package we had from Jocelyn. She worked at the Real Estate firm there. We stopped at the market for lunch. Jason had the fried steak and veggies with rice for just 500 vatu which is a great deal! I continued to buy the provisions for the next few weeks and had a nice coconut water to quench my thirst. A couple of local men invited us to sit and have some tea with them. They wanted to discuss the economics of Vanuatu and get our opinion on it. I think it is great that most of Vanuatu can live with out any money being spent. They are completely capable and do live off the land. Everyone helps each other if they need something. We went to the grocery store on the hill and they had everything we could possibly need. It was nice. We finished our provisions for the next month or so and it was dark when we arrived back at the boat. We were exhausted.
August 10, 2007 Friday
We are trying to leave to day so I went back into town with Jason while he finished a few things too. I went to the internet café to try to download the statements from our compass account onto our flash drive. Unfortunately, I was not on my computer and forgot the answer to the question and was locked out. I was so frustrated since I paid $20 to try to get this information and accomplished absolutely nothing! Jason met me there and we headed back to the boat and motored over to get water. We ended up not getting there while they were at lunch and so we just hung out near the dock under motor power. When we were turning around to go and dock someone got there before us so we had to wait again. Needless to say, we did not make it out by 1pm so decided it was not worth taking a chance of getting there after dark and picked up a mooring ball for the night. We will leave first thing in the morning.
August 11, 2007 Sat
We arrived in the afternoon to Havana Harbor and were greeted by our friends on New Dawn and Diva. We were invited over for dinner of sushi on Diva. It was a nice night. We all hung out eating under the stars. They have an amazing cockpit and all 7 of us could fit around the table!! We drank and ate until the wee hours of the morning.
August 12, 2007 Sun
We all slept in late. I had a bad day with my back so was home all day. Jason, Ross and Jonah went diving with the 3rd lung. They had a ball. They took their spear guns but caught nothing. They saw an octopus and some rays. Jonah came over for dinner and a movie later that night. I made some cookies while I was home all day and they really loved them.
August 13, 2007 Mon
We were on our way to go snorkeling with New Dawn when a big official’s boat pulled in. They came over to us and told us to go back to our boats that they were boarding all of us. We went over to our boat and they informed us that we were missing a receipt for quarantine. We told them we checked in on the island of Tanna and that they told us we were all done and to take down the quarantine flag. We assumed we were finished since they did not tell us to go anywhere else. Apparently we were wrong. We checked in with Customs when we arrived in Port Villa and they did not mention a word about this after going through all of our paperwork. We were told that we needed to leave for Port Villa immediately and we told them that it would take us too long to get down there and we would have to leave in the morning. There were three boats just like us. We continued to go snorkeling anyway and had a blast. It was very pretty and there were lots of fish. We saw an eel that was really big too. We went over to New Dawn’s that evening to have drinks and snacks to watch the sunset. It was a pretty one.
August 13, 2007 Tues
The official boat had a loud speaker on their decks and announced on that as well as on Channel 16 for us to leave. We sailed down to Port Villa. It was a horrible sail in that we were on a beat so it was a very rough ride. We arrived and called the officer to come to our boat. We called at 3:30pm but when he finally got to our boat he charged us over time and a $200 fine for not paying the $20 fee of quarantine. We tried to explain what happened but he said there was nothing he could do. We had a couple boaters stop by when they heard us on the radio and we told them what happened. They said that half the people anchored in the bay in Port Villa had checked in the country in Tanna as well and that none of them had their quarantine papers either. Customs never mentioned it when they arrived here and showed their paperwork. The next morning we made an announcement on the radio to all cruisers to let them know of this little trap they have set up. Later we found out that all the cruisers went in together to talk with quarantine. The officer was trying to make them all pay the late fee anyway; even though they all came in to pay now. Luckily there were so many of them (over 30 boats) they waived the fine. We are just happy to be able to help other cruisers out. Yes it was quite a blow since our budget has been great until this fine we were spending very little. But, as they say this is life. We just watched a movie that night.
August 14, 2007 Wed
Of course we made the announcement on the net about the above incident. After the net, we pulled up anchor and sailed out of Port Villa. Our friends were thinking of leaving today so we told them we would call them when we arrived back up there. We decided not to go back to Havana Harbor but to anchor by a beach in a bay right outside so that we would have a head start leaving in the morning. Jason went for a kayak and then we went snorkeling here again. It was very pretty. The beach here is beautiful white sand as well. This was really a great spot to stop.
August 15, 2007 Thurs
We hailed New Dawn in the morning. They were on their way out of Havana Harbor. We had a little head start since we were an hour closer to leave. We had a little bit of a rough ride over to Revolution Bay. It was late so we just dropped anchor and went over to Ross and Laura’s to watch a movie and hang out.
August 16, 2007 Friday
We went snorkeling in the late morning. It was pretty good. We were looking for the sea cow that is supposed to hang out here. We did not see him. There was lots of Crown of thorns here that are ruining the reef. That is very sad. Some parts of the reef were very shallow and then it would drop off. Ross found a lot of shells for Laura’s collection though among the coral. After we were tired from snorkeling we went to shore to walk around and look for shells. We met a nice local there and he gave us some fruits and vegetables. Laura and Ross collected lots of cool shells and we did just from hanging out with them. They seem to know what everything is called. We spent another night here and hung out playing games. It was fun.
August 17, 2007 SAT
We sailed over to Lemon Bay we arrived in the late afternoon. Our friends on Intrepid III set up a lunch for tomorrow at Atus Jack’s house to see million dollar point. It is a great view of the Bay. Jason went snorkeling and kayaked around the bay. There should be some du gongs or sea cows here as well. We did not see any.
August 18, 2007 Sun
We went over to Atus Jacks and Helen’s home for lunch. The view was amazing. It overlooked the bay where all our boats were. Luckily Laura and Ross remembered to bring their camera. The lunch was amazing. All the food was delicious. We had fresh fruits (papaya and grapefruit), chicken, lap lap, kumara and banana pie/cake. We ended up having lots of fun getting to know the family. They gave us lots of fruits and vegetables when we left. After lunch we snorkeled around and Jason went on another kayak. I made some cookies.
August 19, 2007 Mon
We went diving today and saw the sea cow! It was huge. We also saw 2 eagle rays and one sting ray. It was super cool to just watch them swim and mix up the sand so they could eat. In the afternoon we were invited in to have cava with Adus Jack. Laura and I were going to just hang out on my boat having a girls day of papering (doing masks) when Jason and Ross showed up and invited us to come to shore too and learn how to make the banana pie we ate yesterday. We of course went. Atus, Jason and Ross were grinding cava that Helen had chopped up when we arrived. Laura and I helped the boys grate the coconut meat. After we had all the coconut meat grated we watched Helen squeeze out the coconut milk. She then made the crust for the pie and layered bananas in it and put the coconut milk on top. She then baked it with hot stones. It was so yummy! We were invited to try the super strong Vanuatu cava as well. Laura had one glass and I had 1.5. Or what is called a low rise. It was stronger than any I had ever tasted before. My whole mouth went numb. But, it gave me a huge stomach ache. Jason and Ross had 3 glasses and were very relaxed. Later we went back to our separate boats to eat. Jason and I had tummy aches and just watched movies.
August 20, 2007 Tues
I was not feeling too good after the cava last night. I had a very hard time getting out of bed. I did not make it out until almost 11am! I went into shore to talk with Atus Jack and Helen. She was chopping up the cava already. They had the flour Laura had asked for. We both needed some but they had a huge bag. Something a restaurant might buy!! We split it. I definitely will be doing a lot of baking! Jason and Ross were spear fishing and trolling for fish! They went with a local and caught a few. They did not get to keep any of them though. They thought it would be served at the dinner at the restaurant. Jason had to hurry to change to make it in on time. It was at 6pm and they arrived back at 5:50. I decided to stay home and have some Laurel time. Jason came home later and told me it was not very good. They did not serve the fish and the rest of the food was just so. I guess I did not miss much. The other cruisers were a little rude to them as well. They had sat down at the table with their drinks and when it was time to go get the food they left their drinks on the table. When they came back to the table their drinks had been moved to the kids table!!! Oh well. My Laurel time consisted of making peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Jason loves them.
August 22, 2007 Wed
I spent the morning finishing cooking for my lunch I was having at our boat. I invited Atus Jack, Helen, Laura and Ross over for lunch. Laura was cooking some things as well. We had a feast. It was so much fun. Atus Jack and Helen were much honored to be invited to our boat for lunch. They had never been invited to a cruiser’s boat before for lunch or dinner. We had so much fun. On the way over to our boat all the locals were laughing and calling to them. It was a big deal that we were doing this. They stayed all afternoon chatting. It was a great time. They just kept saying they would never forget us. They also insisted on throwing us a feast party before we left town. We said we needed to leave by Friday so we are having it on Thursday night.
August 23, 2007 Thurs
I have been having a very bad time with my back and my stomach. I keep waking up all last night with my back and did not sleep much. It does not seem like my back is getting any better. We went over to Laura and Ross’s to discuss our travel plans. After we finished, we all went over to Atus Jacks and Helens home to prepare for the dinner. We just hung out all day cooking and chatting. Right before dinner Helen went into their home and came out with Atus and asked us all to stand up. We each went up one at a time and she put a dress on Laura and I and a shirt on Ross and Jason. Then we all sat around the food together and prayed before dinner. They kept saying how happy they were to have met us and they will never forget us. We had a wonderful time.
August 24, 2007 Fri
Laurel woke up in the middle of the night extremely sick. She threw up all day and had a fever. We did not do much today. Jason ran around a little in the bay. Austust 25, Saturday Our anniversary was today and Laurel was very sick all day. We just sat in and watched movies all day.
August 26, 2007 Sat
Laurel is still sick but we left to go to another island today. We arrived in the after noon and anchored out by the bay. It was a rough night out there and we were rolling severely all night. We decided in the morning we’ll go in near the village.
August 27, 2007 Mon
Jason went into the village and ended up working all day on their generator. They brought us fruit and vegetables. We bought 4 lobsters for $20 which is a great deal. We went over to Ross and Laura’s for dinner and hung out playing games. It was fun. The lobster was very good. Laurel was still running a fever though, so we did not stay too late.
August 28, 2007 Tues
Jason ran in early in the morning to say goodbye to the villagers who he helped with the generator. When he came back to the boat he had a big crab! They gave him a crab for helping with the generator. We sailed over to Bannon Bay this afternoon. We had a hell of a sail! It was very rough out there. I was sick and Jason was sailing by himself. We were having huge seas and big winds. We got slammed by a wave and water came pouring into the cockpit. This has NEVER happened on the Biz before!! Water was coming in through the forward hatch, the main hatch and the companionway!! What a mess. Everything from the left side of the boat even things that were secured flew across the boat including the knives. We thought we had them secure but our boat almost hit the water!! Sea water came pouring in through the hatch and hit our TV! Unfortunately, our TV was a casualty of this sail! We had quite the mess to clean up when we arrived. It does rain here incessantly. Poor Laurel was feeling very sick with a fever still, and was so nauseous the entire sail. When we arrived we found out that tomorrow morning there will be a cultural dance on shore.
August 29, 2007 Wed
We were thinking of skipping going into shore for the cultural dance since it was raining cats and dogs. We sucked it up and decided to go. When we got into the village they decided to cancel the dance until tomorrow morning. They did throw us a lap lap (dinner) which was nice. I was still not feeling well so we ended up bolting early. The lap lap was good according to Jason. I took one bite and knew it was a mistake! The villagers here are super nice. They are eager for people to love their bay and tell others about it. We watched movies the rest of the day and evening with Laura and Ross.
August 30, 2007 Thurs
We went into the village early for the custom dance. The men had nothing on but what they call a namba (or what looks like a penis wrap) and they have an instrument of homemade bells on their ankles. They use a hollow tube and hit it with a stick to make music as well and stamping. They all sing along as well and it has such a good beat that you just want to dance along. I had a hard time keeping the camera steady while I video tapped the dance. They danced for 4 songs. The first was a dance with masks, but these really were just hats (looked like a dunce hat) that had faces painted on them. The second dance was the “tough dance” which was really energetic as well. After the men’s dance, we walked over to another location and watched the woman’s dance. It was not quite as energetic as the men with the stomping and jumping around but it was nice. They danced with nothing on but a grass skirt and face paint. They would swing melodiously while they sung. After a fashion, the guide told us that we could join in if we wanted too. Laura and I of course jumped in, as I am always eager to dance. I was able to take some pictures and a small video of that. Ross caught some good photos of Laura and me. It was so hot outside I was dripping with sweat afterwards. Then we walked back and watched another man’s dance. After the dance, the guide introduced the chief and he gave a speech before he asked us to introduce ourselves and tell them where we are from and what we thought of the dances as well as Bannon Bay as a whole. We went back to the boat to have lunch. We are still going to hike the waterfall today. It took us a very long time about an hour to walk down the beach and through a village to the waterfall. On the way up we picked up some local kids and they showed us the coco plant. They opened it so we could taste it. They suck on the beans. The have fuzzy stuff around them that is sour but sweet. It actually tasted like a jolly rancher. We sucked on these for the remainder of our hike up. We had to walk through a lot of mud to get up there. When we arrived it was pretty but not like the other waterfall hikes we have done in the past where you could just jump in a swim. Although, a single hander sailor stripped down to nothing and walked under the waterfall!! My husband, a local and Ross went under it with their trunks on! There were red crabs on the cliff face up the waterfall. I had never seen a bright red one before. We hiked down and stopped to look at the coco beans and coconut being roasted. They export from here. Over all we had a great day. We went over to New Dawn’s to watch a movie afterwards. We watched a Japanese Cartoon called “Hal’s Moving Castle” it was really good. I hope we can watch another one soon.