We signed up to do the “Port 2 Port Rally” from Port Villa, Vanuatu to Bundaberg, Australia. This is a very looseorganization which coordinates the services of Customs, Immigration and Quarantine. The route north of New Caledonia allows the visit to several beautiful reefs which breaks the 1100 mile voyage.
The highlights of Fiji and Vanuatu, like many other countries is visiting and sharing friendships with the local residents, especially those in remote, simple settings.
One such highlight was at Sawa-I-Lau in Fiji, where we went ashore to the village of Nabukeru to present kava to the chief’s daughter. We attended church, had lunch with the village leaders and attended a native dance show that night. When the villagers heard Ron’s last name, they took him to meet a large family with the last name Bruce. We were very warmly invited to breakfast in their bure (home). They believe they are direct decedents of Robert de Bruce of Scotland. They described several Bruce clans in Fiji and claim good ole Robert had a Fijian wife and a European wife and say there are many black and white Bruces in Fiji.
Miss Jody departed Fiji on September 3, headed for Tanna Island, Vanuatu, 450 miles West. We arrive three days later in Port Resolution, Tanna Island under beautiful wind conditions of 15-25k ESE and only needing to motor for the last few hours. Upon arrival, as is traditional, we went ashore to pay our respects to the chief and to ask his permission to anchor and snorkel in the bay. His name was Chief Ronnie and we attended their church, ate lunch with his family, and gave them gifts of toys, food and clothing. Vanuatu has many remote villages, some with a way of life extending back 200 years.
The next evening we visited Mount Yasur, an active volcano. Our mode of transportation was riding for two hours in the rear of a one ton 1946 Ford flatbed truck over a cow path road for about 20 miles. The volcano is not recommended by the Lonely Planet, and for good reason too. Lava and boulders were shooting into the sky above our viewing point at an adjacent peak two miles up wind!
We arrived in Bundaberg, Australia at 0700 on Oct 30, 2008 – a 13 day passage to cover 1100 miles. We spent 6 of those days at anchor in 2 of the numerous reef areas scattered across the Coral Sea. The Huon Reef was incredible with wild life, at least 100 large green turtles mating and laying eggs, 1000s of masked and red footed boobies with babies, schools of small black tip sharks and various other shore birds sitting on eggs. The place was a miniature Galapagos.
Our arrival in Bundaberg concludes our 11,449 mile, 23 month crossing of the Pacific Ocean. We visited 11 different countries and numerous islands along the way. Joanne has sailed every step of the way, quite an incredible achievement for a self declared non-sailor. Miss Jody departed Pensacola 35 months and 13,009 miles ago.
Here are the details of our log:
|Date||Position||Mile to Go||Miles Today||Wind||Boat||Sea|
|10/18 -0930||17*45’S/168*15’E||1034||0||5k||5k 267T||2 ft|
|10/19 -0600||17*48’S/166*04’E||911||123||15k SE||8k 267T||2-4 ft|
|10/20 -0600||17*51’S/163*03’E||731||180||20k SE||8k 267T||8-10 ft|
|10/21 -0600||17*51’S/163*03’E||731||0||23k SE||0||8-10 ft|
|10/22 -0600||17*51’S/163*03’E||731||0||18k ESE||0||4-6 ft|
|10/23 -0600||19*15’S/160*48’E||568||163||20k SE||8k 134T||4-6 ft|
|10/24 -0600||19*50’S/158*25’E||445||123||23k SSE||0||6-8 ft|
|10/25 -0600||19*50’S/158*25’E||445||0||14k SE||0||4-6 ft|
|10/26 -0600||19*50’S/158*25’E||445||0||18k SSE||0||4-6 ft|
|10/27 -1300||19*50’S/158*25’E||445||0||18k ESE||underway||6-8 ft|
|10/28 -0600||21*20’S/156*51’E||317||128||18k E||8.5k 229T||4-6 ft|
|10/29 -0600||22*55’S/154*51’E||170||147||8k E||4.8k 229T||1-3 ft|
|10/30 -0600||24*45*S/152*24’E||0||170||15k E||0||3-5 ft|