11 - New Zealand to Australia

Der Hahn im Korb

Last Friday we had one of those special memorable evenings aboard Papillon. Between Martha, Audrey, Nicky and the three girls from Kyrimba there were six kids - and Nicky the only boy among them. He didn't mind and everyone had a good time, especially when the kids were singing "Smoke on the Water" on the foredeck while performing a dance that reminded us of the village dances in Vanuatu.

Maybe, in a few years, Nicky will look back onto these pictures and wonder "man - why doesn't this happen to me anymore?"

New Caledonia here we come

We're about 12nm away from tne entrance to the Canal de Hanvannah, the SE entry into the lagoon of New Caledonia. After leaving Port Vila in Vanuatu on Tuesday afternoon our original plan was to stop at Ile Mare in the Loyalty Islands east of New Cal.'s main island However, when we got there around mid day yesterday (Thu), a wind shift expected from a weak passing front had yet to materralize and none of the anchorages was tenable in a still northerly wind. Hence we raised the sails again to continue the 60nm to New Caledonia's main island.

Pictures in the Sand

We visited Vanuatu's National Museum here in Port Vila today. It's small but definitely one of the more interesting and more captivating museums. Edgar, the (amongst many other things) museum guide there has a special gift to interact with visitors and bring the exhibits there to life for them - in some cases literally as he he masterfully plays the musical instruments on display (he was actually invited to the 2012 London Olympics to give a demonstration there).

Basket blon titi

We are on a mooring in Port Vila, Vanuatu's capital on the island of Efate. Funny to see all those artifacts of modern life again, mixed with some of the more traditional aspects we have seen on the smaller islands on the way here.

Vanuatu - Week 1

It's been a week since we arrived on Aneityum/Anatom in Vanuatu. What was originally intended as a short convenient stop over for clearing in before continuing to Tanna has turned into a very nice experience. It feels that we could easily spend another week in our anchorage at the village of Analgawat on the SW corner of the island. The volcano on Tanna beckons though and so we have moved to the north end of Aneityum today to get an early start for the 45nm to Port Resolution on Tanna tomorrow morning.

Arrival

We arrived yesterday (Sat, 17AUG) around 10am and dropped the hook in a sandy bottom at 11m in Anelghowhat Bay on the south side of Anatom Island/IsleAneytioum (the southern most island of Vanuatu). Very beautiful - on first sight it looks like a mix between the Marquesas (hilly, wooded island with lush vegetation) and the Tuamotus (a motu protecting the bay with palm lined beaches, coral, ...). Not a bad combination... We were happy to find Helena and Kari on Merilelu still anchored here before they'll take off for points further north and our paths will split for good.

The 100 Mile Mark

Just over 100nm to go to our destination on the south side of Anatom as of this morning (Fri, 16AUG).. The "more comfortable ride" mentioned in the previous post turned out to be short lived unfortunately. A few hours after sending the post off the wind veered again and stayed at solid 20-30kn until midday yesterday. With the wind just ahead of the beam and confused seas it made for a bumpy ride. On the plus side it was fast as we were still averaging over 6kn under a triple reefed main and a tiny genoa.

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