We had another brilliant Parasailor sail up to the island of Erromango on Saturday – 53nm completed at an average of 7 knots. Dillons Bay, off a large village on the west side of the island, was sheltered from the SE wind but quite a rolly anchorage so we didn't sleep too well that night! So yesterday we had a 2-hour sail up to a deserted little bay called Ponamlas Bay ( 18:37.8S/169:02.76E) where we anchored in lovely clear water and good shelter.
The bay is beautiful, with high cliffs on its western side, home to hundreds of small bats, and a pebbly beach at the head. However, there were some refracted waves curling in causing us to rock and roll a little so we spent some time experimenting with the setting of a stern anchor to hold our stern into the waves. Unfortunately the sea-bed consists of small rocks and coral rubble and our normally-brilliant Fortress kedge anchor just skated across the surface so we ended up using the grapnel dinghy anchor with an angel. An angel in this context is a heavy weight (in our case a coil of spare anchor chain, lashed with rope around it) which you lower down the anchor line until it touches the bottom; when the boat pulls on the anchor chain it has to lift the angel off the bottom before it exerts any pull on the anchor itself. It worked perfectly so we had a steady night, unlike our friends on Iolea who stayed in Dillons Bay last night and reported three hours of dreadful rolling and 6 hours of moderate rolling when we talked to them on the radio this morning!
We're going to spend another day here, doing some baking and boat jobs then will leave at about 3.00am tomorrow for the 80-mile crossing to the Capital, Port Vila, on the island of Efate. The nice SE trade winds are due to be interrupted by a front bringing northerlies at the end of the week so it's a good time to move. We're looking forward to getting to some internet and a laundry and some shops; there's a rumour of a French Patisserie too!
Any news from you would be very welcome – to maunie(at)mailasail(dot)com. Has any sense been spoken in the UK, post the Brexit vote? Is it true that Boris Johnson has stepped down from the Tory leadership race, leaving the charismatic Michael Gove and the lovely Theresa May as front runners to succeed the wonderfully-successful David Cameron? Feeling very out of touch here but Laura thanks her dad for the Game of Thrones update!