Pacific Islands 2015


Whitsundays, Australia




Noumea, New Caledonia


Vanuatu

Aftermath of Cyclone Pam


After arriving at Port Vila and clearing Customs, we stayed on Yachting World Marina on the sea wall until Steve and Larry's wives arrived on Wednesday and Clare, on Friday. We had a look around in the dinghy at the graveyard of wrecks that had washed up after Cyclone Pam. So very sad:( Unfortunately it is not possible to get insurance on a boat for hurricanes over Force 3 and Cyclone Pam was Force 5 so these boats are now lying abandoned. Heartbreaking.







I had a dream... to swim with turtles




Champagne Bay





Resorts in Espirito Santo


Santo was rich in culture, rich in natural beauty and rich in hospitality.  There were many boutique resorts on the shores of the islets around Santo which offered safe anchorages and often free moorings.  The moorings were to protect the coral from anchored boats and were mostly free with the idea that boaties visit the resort for a meal or a drink or both.
Aore Island Resort is close to Luganville town centre.  It has a ferry which runs across to the town as well as excursions to the various hot spots.  It was our first overnight anchorage in Santo and a wonderful introduction to what was to be an amazing experience.
We moored here on several occasions and took the tender across to the hardware where we could tie up to the wharf, drop off our rubbish and go shopping.  The hardware itself is very unexpected.  It stocks absolutely everything you could think of and Ron was in heaven in there!  Just like a Bunnings!





Oyster Island Resort was somewhat difficult for our boat to get to - but well worth the effort.  It was necessary for us to time our entry on a full incoming tide as the channel is shallow, quite narrow for our 9m beam and is the home to many coral bombies.  We became closely acquainted with one on our first visit!  Once anchored however, it is a beautiful spot, not only for the resort but for the snorkelling, the beach walks and of course the blue hole!  (Coming up in the next instalment.)  No moorings here but very safe anchorage with room for many boats.  It is also possible to go to catch a tour up to Champagne Bay from here if we didn't want to go up in the boat.


Matevelu Blue Hole


A kayak trip up the river to one of many blue holes in Vanuatu is a must.  The crystal clear spring water illuminates the water to an incredible blue colour. It takes  about 45 minutes to kayak up the river but needs to be done when the tide is fairly high.  The tender needs a full tide to get the outboard over the bar at the mouth of the river and it is shallow in parts.  It is a glorious trip in the kayak and easy to imagine being in an Amazon jungle! The entrance is visible from the anchorage at the resort.  One of the highlights of Vanuatu! The rope swing caused great hilarity as Larry got the end of the rope caught on the "ladder" as he jumped off causing him to do an impressive 360 before landing in the hole.  Unfortunately I have water on the lens but you get the general idea:)




Street Stalls


When the cruise ships come in the town becomes a colourful, bustling place.  The road to the cruise ship is lined with local crafts, wares and performers.  We girls loved it!  Ron.... not so much!




Fueling Up


This was a unique and memorable experience for us in Vanuatu.  There are no fuel jetties with electric pumps in Santo so as you can see in the video below, it is done by hand pump.  We had to preorder the fuel at a building along the road from the commercial wharf and pay in cash up front.  We could only order it in 200L drum lots so we could not risk over ordering.  There is no refund for surplus fuel.  We were able to purchase the fuel duty free as we were departing Vanuatu.  Once we had ordered and paid for the fuel, we arranged a time to tie up at the commercial wharf and the boys arrived with the drums of fuel.  It was a very social occasion, chatting and laughing as they pumped it in by hand.  Surprisingly it was very efficient, taking no longer than the usual electric pumps and much more fun!  For us anyway:)



Fiji


A Wahu caught just as we were coming over the reef in to Nadi, Fiji




Nemo Reef, Musket Cove


Jeff and Jill arrived at Denerau, Nadi 15 July to join us for 9 days on Emotion 2.  We went up to the Yasawas and made our way back down through the Mamanukas, staying the last couple of days at Musket Cove, Plantation Island.  Jeff took some incredible photos and videos on his Nikon Coolpix, underwater camera, with in-built waterproof casing (no need to put on and take off a waterproof case) which he has shared with us.


Manta Rays in Yasawas


The Manta Rays swim across the reef at high tide every day between May and October at the island of Nanuya Balavau in the Naviti group of the Yasawa Islands.



Tonga

One of the many fish caught on the trip from New Zealand to Tonga


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