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.

Friday, 16 September 2016

A Welcome Break From Life's Ups and Downs

The long weekend spent anchored off Luganville was great - we restocked our food lockers, found some (relatively) cheap but very drinkable Australian wine to put into the empty drinks cellar and, of course, enjoyed the football. However the downside was that the anchorage is pretty exposed and is on what we sailors call a 'lee shore' - in other words the land is to the lee (down wind) of us so if the anchor dragged we'd find ourselves aground pretty quickly. The good thing was that the anchor was buried deep in very good-holding sand but the wind-driven waves meant that Maunie was never still so it wasn't exactly a restful place to be.

So we decided to move around the corner and head north:

The prevailing wind is south easterly here so we had an entertaining sail, short-tacking eastwards out of the Segond Channel and past the wreck of the Coolidge, and then turned northwards to tuck inside Aesi island, out of the swell, and up towards Oyster Island.

Our electronic charts are not hugely accurate here (according to our Navionics chart, we are currently anchored firmly on shore!) so we downloaded some very detailed Google Earth images to use on the iPad.

The route into Oyster Island - we had detailed waypoints from the cruising guide that we bought this year 
The really scary bit - we had just 40cm under our keel as we went through the pass and it looked even shallower from the deck!
 The minor palpitations were all worth it, though, as we are now anchored in a perfectly protected spot, with not a wave to be seen, just off the very friendly Oyster Island Resort. The calm conditions allowed us to drop our yankee to put a patch on some chafe and to give Maunie a bit of a clean and polish.

Chafe is your enemy! - damage to the blue UV protection strip at the leech-line block

Unlike Sel Citron's sails, Maunie's will fit in the sewing machine so a leather-lined patch was added.
 Ashore at the resort we had an excellent  'cook's night off' meal and went to watch a combined youth choir / bamboo band / water-music team rehearsing a new song that they are entering into a Pacific song contest. We'll see the first official performance on Sunday here so will post some photos and, if possible, a video of the event.

Dianne's sadly unsuccessful audition to join the Bamboo Band
 There are two winding rivers that flow into this lagoon so we joined Sel Citron in their big dinghy to motor up one of them yesterday. It was absolutely stunning and we reached the Blue Hole, where the limestone really does turn the water into a lovely shade of blue, for some great fresh-water swimming.

Graham doing the Tarzan thing from a huge Banyan tree

1 comment: