Monday, 24 July 2017

Wedding Anniversary in Luganville

30th May 1998 !  Hard to believe 19 years have passed already.
As has become a Fluenta tradition, the kids put together a lovely anniversary dinner for us onboard.

Your dinner, Sir.

Naked-waiter-guy serves out fresh salad (which after the last few month is a real treat)

The master chef and coordinator herself

The sous-chef with the dessert

Naked-waiter-guy is also in charge of taste testing.

To Tikopia - In Photos

When we found out that it may be practical to stop at Tikopia in the Solomon Islands enroute to Vanuatu, I was hoping to it would work out.  Tikopia features as one of the success stories in Jared Diamond's "Collapse" (He also wrote "Guns, Germs and Steel" - another interesting ready but not necessarily relevant to Tikopia). Furthermore, our new sea gypsy friends in Infinity had spent a considerable time there providing a base for the "Message in a Bottle" TV series (which we have a copy but only in Norwegian).  So when Tikopia remained right on our rhumb line and then the trade winds shut down ... a stop was in order .

Liz wrote about our wonderful time there in this blog post and now here are some pictures:

Landfall - Approaching Tikopia.  The squalls were not particularly helpful as we tried to find our way in.  The charts were less helpful
The yellow dot is approximately where we anchored. (Google Earth image)
Everyday there was a steady procession of dugout canoes to say hello and to trade.  Older folks and

younger folks ...

These kids stayed onboard and visited for awhile

and then sailed their very overloaded canoe home again.

The thatched homes are traditional with very low entrances so that anyone entering, regardless of physical or political stature, has to bow low to enter.  It also makes them more resilient to cyclones.

Traditional homes
Traditional homes
But of course it was the people of Tikopia that made it special.  Here Liz is with her constant entourage that followed her everywhere.

One of the families we got to know in our short time in Tikopia

Even quiet visits with a family were well observed from the spectators outside.

Victoria teaching crocheting while Johnathan enjoys a coconut

We traded some supplies for handicrafts and then this lady gave Liz the bag as well
Benjamin was particularly popular, although he was not sure if he appreciated all the attention.

And no lack of help with the dingy.  Note the lad at the stern has a toy boat on a rod and line.
Heading ashore at spring low tide - hence the challenging reef - and our welcoming party is already massing.

Heading off to the other side of the island for a hike

The lagoon.  It is a brackish lagoon and therefore has a different eco-system than the outside reefs and another redundant source of food.

The lagoon

A snorkel-nosed Benjamin fish.  He likes to wear the kit but is less keen to swim with it.

Great water clarity for snorkelling

The local boys were impressive to watch spearfishing.  No equipment other than some really old masks and pole spears.  Sharks must be less of an issue as they had the fish stringer around their waist.

And the usual trying to fix stuff in the village.  A solar panel system and in this case a well worn out inverter system that was beyond my repair.

Liz had more luck though resuscitating this beautiful old Singer sewing machine.  The lady was so happy to have it working again.

and then sadly, it was time to move on again ...

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Passage and Mid Passage Beach Party Photos

Although we have been in Vanuatu since May I have not taken the time to seek out sufficient internet bandwidth or, more importantly, sift through the thousands of pictures we have taken ...    So, here comes a series of photo blog posts.

This post is the pictures sailing from the Marshall Islands to Tikopia in the Solomons.  Liz wrote about the passage in this  previous post as well as in a post on our mid passage beach party.

Welcome back to the Southern Hemisphere.  Note the wind heading over 30 kts from its previous more sedate 12 kts.  On the screen you can our latitude is 0 00.002'N (approximately12 feet north of the Equator) and we have a mere 975nm to go.  You can see on the chart page we have headed off downwind to relieve the loads on the boat and to make it more comfortable as this is just a squall

As a former glider pilot and, now, a sailor, I spend a fair amount time looking at clouds but what is this one ?  Pretzel cloud ?

More squalls

Loving our rain enclosure ...

Kind of hard to go around this one.

And some rain

But the wind and current are helping us along our way.  Reefed well down and making pretty good time.

Is the US nuking the Marshall Is again ?  Nope, just some more squalls at sunset.

and what to do on passage when not on watch. Victoria trying to avoid the sun and do her math.

Minecraft with Benjamin

and, of course, catching rain water is a good way to pass the time if you are three.

and then the wind stopped ...

So ... time for a party.  No worry about hitting the bottom as I think it was about 8000' deep or so.

SWIMEX !Yes, we did keep one adult onboard at all times to ensure Fluenta did not decide to leave the party.
Johnathan Diving

Even time to sit and read a book (out of the sun).