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19 July 2010

Headed to Mackay, Australia

The Wild Tigris has left Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu, and is en route to Mackay, Australia. The passage should take approximately 5 days. - WT webmaster

Helicopter Ride around Efate and outside islands

Left this morning at 9 am with Juergen, Heidi, Casey for a three hour ride up to Ambrym Island to see a large volcano in the northern part of Vanuatu. We went up the west side to Port Havannah, Lelepa and Moso islands. Beautiful villages along the trip with 500 people in one island adjacent to Port Vila. Out a little further over a village of 5000 people. Then into the mountains and seeing the virgin forests from on top. Then into the beautiful harbor of Port Havannah with 300 feet of water. This was a navy base for the US in World World II. The shore is dotted with coral reefs. Over Moso to the northern side of the island. This side has huge caves and beautiful coral reefs. Next time we should explore this area in detail. Then up to Nguna island to see the extinct volcano. The locals do not let the helicopter company land here. Was hoping to land and walk along the rim of the extinct volcano, but no joy. Very good anchorage on the most NW end of the island looks to be a nice village there also.

At this point we are heading north to Ambrym but weather closed and a decision was made to head back to Port Vila. On return trip we went between Nguna and mainland where there is a beautiful beach and large sandy reef in the passage. There is a very low and small island just north of Efate which has a resort which was half built. Juergen was up there with his grand kids and had a great time earlier in the week.

This would be a kite surfing Mecca. Back thru Port Havanah and thru the Hilliard Channel. The island of Eretoka is just off shore and is where a peaceful chief lived in the 1200’s. He had a hundred wives and when the chief passed away the hundred wives were all buried alive with him. A French man wanted to see if the legend was true and started digging on Eretoka and on the first dig found the mass grave. The wives were given kava before being lowered into the ground. The legend has it that the wives who didn’t want to die were held in the pit and a large rock placed on their chest so they wouldn’t move and the dirt was then shoveled on top. Remember these islands were full of cannibals. What would you like to buried alive or eaten? Nasty.

Back to Port Vila over Point Devil and back to the helicopter pontoon in Port Vila Harbor. It was Juergen’s first helicopter ride and for the first time he was shell shocked and wasn’t talking the whole time!!!! A trip for the memory banks!!!!

- Casey

July 19th 01:02:50 Z
17 44.314 s
168 18.579 e
11:00am Wild Tigris time

16 July 2010

Photos - Vanuatu & Fiji

The gang have persevered through slow Internet connections and have managed to upload new sets of pictures to the web albums: Enjoy! - WT webmaster

East side of Lelepa Island, Efate, Vanuatu

After a great lunch yesterday we moved over to Lelepa Island from the Havanah Resort. Looking for snorkeling spots we took the dingy for a spin around Lelepa. Sean, Sofia, Jeff, Amanda took a walk on the sandy beach and cut through to the other side of the island. Driving the dingy around to the other side we idled around the West side to look at the amazing coral gardens right at low tide. The wave would go out and the coral would appear above the surface. The thought of a glass-bottomed inflatable would have been a sight in these healthy coral reefs.

We finished with Lelepa and went over to the Purumea Passage and Moso Island to check out the turtle farm. On the way we noticed a dive boat with no one on board, just anchored. Slowed down to see if there were any people snorkeling or diving. Just at that moment we noticed a reef in front of us which turned out to be bubbles coming up on the surface. In reverse immediately, don’t know who was more surprised the people in the water or us, crisis averted. Back to Wild Tigris, with her Cayman Island Red flag she is quite a sight to drive up too.

Dinner was a masterpiece from Sean and Sofia. A few rums and glasses of wine talking under the stars and the Milky Way was a nice way to end the day.

17.34.793 S

- Casey

15 July 2010

Good Morning Vanuatu

July 15, 2010

Our hero Alec Miller left yesterday after two weeks of travel on the Wild Tigris from Musket Cove, Fiji to Vanuatu. Alec’s good nature and constant entertainment had everyone wishing he would stay longer but weddings and tennis matches won the day. Back to Switzerland for Alec.

Yesterday we left Port Vila and went to Havannah Bay to the West, anchored near the beach head at the Havannah Resort. Wind blowing around twenty knots we set the jibs on a reach with a pretty good roll from the waves. Once we headed further downwind had to roll them up with a little difficulty since one had a mind of its own and unwrapped itself flogging forward on the furler.

Jeff was fishing with only one strike just outside of the Port Vila harbor. He reeled the line in and to our surprise the leader was partially cut from the teeth of the fish. Guess the fish wanted to eat the fish head first but hit the leader line first. Put the line back out but the speed of nine or ten knots was too fast for fishing.

Day before we left Tanna Island which we called Jurrassic Park because of its virgin forest with perfect canopy from the trees in the forest. Once ashore the villages were from two hundred years ago with the guide book saying people had lived here for five thousand years. A tour was set up to go to a Volcano and a local village for some native dancing. Some dozen or so men came out of a cut in a huge Banyan tree figuring to be four or five hundred years old and danced around for fifteen minutes in the rain. It was cold and we were not prepared for the rain. Then off to the Volcano which was also cold but from our view from the rim the molten rocks being sent up a thousand feet in the air was quite a sight. There have been tourists killed from the molten rocks but we were saved since the molten rocks just blew straight up and came down. Someone said, "I feel very stupid being here." Thinking the next eruption could take us out. The trip back in the rain on some of the worst roads we have ever been on, was a picture from a bad brochure. We all thought Tanna was truly a treasure!!

Havannah Bay is three hundred feet in water depth with Islands around keeping out the ocean waves out. You have the feeling of being on a lake in the autumn, since it is winter in this neck of the woods. We were treated to a sunset with a large pink and red glow over the island to the west. A trip in the dingy to survey the sandy waterfront for miles north and south. A perfect dinner at the resort and off to the Wild Tigris for some long hours of sleep.

- Casey

13 July 2010

Port Vila, the island of Efate, Vanuatu

The WT is in port in Port Vila, on the island of Efate in Vanuatu. Reports are that they have some internet (though slow) so the gang ought to be able to upload some new pictures soon.

Port Vila (Wikipedia)

- WT webmaster

12 July 2010

en route to Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu

As of 1000 UTC, 12 July 2010 (0600 EDT; 2100 local time on the boat), the WT was about halfway to Port Vila on the island of Efate, Vanuatu. Vanuatu local time is 15 hours ahead of EDT (U.S. East Coast Daylight Savings Time).

With about 70 nautical miles to go, it seems very likely they'll get in sometime during the day on the 13th, late in the day on the 12th for those of us following from the U.S.

- WT webmaster

10 July 2010

Port Resolution, Tanna, Vanuatu

According to the World ARC data feed (via Google Earth) the boat's in port at Port Resolution on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu.

The next scheduled fleet rendezvous is at Port Vila on Efate island, around 120 nm to the Northwest, on the 13th of July; scheduled fleet departure for the leg to Mackay, Australia, around 1,100 nm, is 15 July. (These dates are taken from the online schedule, and are all very subject to change!)

- WT webmaster

06 July 2010

Headed out from Fiji to Vanuatu

Got news from the gang that the WT is heading out today from Fiji for Vanuatu. All is well, and though blog entries have been a bit sparse - they're still having trouble with the satellite phone modem - they have managed to upload some pictures from the past month or so:

Tahiti and French Polynesia


The Kingdom of Tonga

Passage to Vanuatu should take something less than three days.

- WT webmaster