Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Erromango and Efate

We left Tanna with a couple of other boats, including an Austrian catamaran called Chi; we were pretty surprised when we overtook it with our Parasailor flying!

Mt Yasur belching smoke in the background 
It's always fun to sail with other boats on these passages and then swap photos. This is one taken by Kate on Iolea:

The anchorage at the north end of Erromango Island was very pretty and, after having it to ourselves for one night, Iolea joined us there on the second.

Northerly gales have piled up a pebble beach that has dammed the river at the head of the bay
From Erromango, we had another day sail to Port Vila on the west side of Efate Island. Port Vila sits in a wonderful natural harbour and is a busy town, particularly when cruise ships arrive. Vanuatu is a popular holiday destination for Australians so there are quite a few resorts, many of which were badly damaged in Cyclone Pam last year; there has been some energetic rebuilding since.

Looking north east across the main anchorage towards the town. Wrecked boats from Cyclone Pam still rest on the shore

Maunie on Mooring Number 6 (about £8 per night)
In addition to a busy pit-stop to re-stock on gas, diesel and food (the Bon Marche supermarket was pretty good and the fruit and veg market superb), we took in a bit of culture. A visit to the national Museum was enlivened by the superb guide, Edgar, who shed some light on the mysteries of the Vanuatu culture. He started his tour by demonstrating san-droig (literally sand drawing) which was more that just art, it was a language in itself, in addition to the 110 or so mother tongues spoken across the island chain!

The completed drawing, made almost without lifting the finger from the sand
We have now left Port Vila and will spend the next 3 or 4 weeks away from the delights of shops and bars. We are heading north via the islands of Emae and Epi to Ambrym where there is a traditional festival taking place on Friday. More culture ahead then!

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