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, 15 August 2016

And then there were two....

Today we said farewell to Laura, who has been an integral part of the Maunie crew for very nearly four months. She joined some guests from the resort to share the ferry across to Luganville and then a minibus to the airport for the three-hour flight to Brisbane. The next exciting chapter of her foreign adventure begins - she has an Australian working holiday visa and hopes to get some work in the marine biology line as she explore the country.

Now many people marvel that the two of us can coexist in a 38ft boat without falling out (with each other, if not from the boat) so surely adding a third person to such a small space would be a real challenge? Well, we are delighted to report that it has been a real pleasure to have Laura aboard - she's a great sailor and a quick learner, very positive and just good fun to have aboard. She makes cracking shortbread as well, as you will have read from a previous blog!

We ended her Vanuatu adventure in some style when we spent the last weekend on a mooring off the very swanky Ratua Private Island Resort.

The resort is upmarket and expensive but beautifully built and furnished; it's owned by a Frenchman who imports wine from his own chateau in France onto the wine list and the staff are impeccably trained. 

In the Yacht Club bar

Restaurant with a view - Maunie on the mooring to the right

Laura was very happy with her chocolate pudding 
The island has its own organic veg gardens and the food is excellent so it's refreshing that they are happy for yachts to pick up their moorings (free of charge) and come to drink and eat at the 'Yacht Club' bar; it was good to sample a little of what the guests, who pay up to $4,000AUS per week, enjoy. 

We had an excellent supper with the entertainment of the local Bamboo Band (playing instruments made of bamboo, of course) on Friday and then returned for cocktails  whilst the string band, whose members are all regular Ratua employees, provided some great music on Saturday.

Dressed up for cocktails on Saturday night

As we write this Laura is at the Luganville airport which she describes as slightly chaotic; hopefully her flight (on Air Vanuatu's new Boeing) will be smooth. We'll miss her, though Maunie will feel lighter without her huge rucksack and assorted baggage:

Laura's bags are ferried ashore

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