Sunday, July 27, 2008

Podcast posted

I have just posted podcast 27 to my podcast page. This was recorded on passage from New Caledonia to Vanuatu and then, as I didn't upload it at Port Vila, I added some more! I've now uploaded it in Luganville. You can listen or subscribe at my podcast page -

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


We've arrived at Luganville, overnight from Epi. We spent two days in Lamen Bay, Epi looking for dugong. Unfortunately, we managed only a couple of brief sightings.

At Luganville, we were lucky enough to secure one of the anchorages owned by the Aore Resort. These are on the south side of the channel, over from the town of Luganville, and thereby more sheltered from the southeast trade winds. The resort operates a ferry boat over to the town.

The resort is closing all its moorings on Saturday, for reasons that are not entirely clear, so we have only a couple of days to take care of initial Luganville business.

Tomorrow we go to dive the wreck of the USS President Coolidge which sunk here during the war while employed as a troop carrier. It's reportedly a fine wreck dive, on a huge ship, but rather deep.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Havannah Harbour, Efate

We spent six days in Port Vila before we cleared out for Luganville. We then sailed a short distance to Mele (or Hideaway Island) a small resort island close to Vila. We dived there but decided to move on to Havannah Harbour in the north west of Efate.

Once out of Vila Bay we met some of the ocean swells that came around Efate and that convinced us that the time was not right to leave for Epi and the other islands to the north. Once we were far enough around Efate the conditions were calm again.

We stopped at Paul's Reef, a rock and coral outcrop about a mile offshore. We anchored temporarily by a beach and dinghied out to Paul's Reef - an excellent dive with lots of fish and visibility over 100 feet! We moved on to a safer anchorage in Havannah Harbour but returned to dive Paul's Reef again the next day.

Havannah Harbour is large lagoon (7-8 miles long) bounded by two large islands (Lelepa and Moso) and Efate itself. We stayed there 5 days but most days we motored off to dive - at Paul's Reef or elsewhere.

Finally, we've come further east to the small islands of Pele and Nguna on the north side of Efate. It was a bit of an upwind slog to get here, but it'll be our last stop on Efate. Hopefully, the conditions will have settled enough by the weekend to leave for Epi, or at least in the direction of Luganville. Right now it's windy and raining - but, maybe, by the weekend ....

Monday, July 07, 2008

Port Vila

We have come to Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu. It's quite a contrast from the villages we've visited in the islands to the south. Here there are shops and restaurants, tourists, resorts, and paved roads. Yesterday, a cruise ship visited. Cafes have WiFi!

We've taken a mooring in the inner harbor, close to town. We've been for several huge shopping trips - to large supermarkets and to the giant veg and fruit market. We've also had a couple of meals out. Tomorrow we'll fuel up and leave for some of the islands north of here - Epi, Ambrym, Malakula and then to Luganville on Espiritu Santo.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

We visit the ex-Cannibals

We've come to Erromango for a few days on our way to Port Vila. We're anchored in Dillan's Bay and we've made a couple of dives in the bay. Yesterday, we went with a local to visit some nearby caves. In the caves are collections of bones and skulls dating from the 18th century, and reputedly from cannibal victims. It seems that cannibalism was quite the thing in this area 200 years ago. Apart from local disputes, they also ate several missionaries!