Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ratua, Aore, Santo Island Vanuatu

Hello Everyone,

I am not able to give a bunch of detailed information and especially pictures on this particular post but I wanted to let you know that we have had an amazing time up in the Espiritu Santo area of Vanuatu.  This is a whirlwind for us up here and we have a checklist that we are going through to make sure we don't miss anything that we were told to go see.  So I am hoping to update more later with pictures.. The wifi is very limited here and frustrating so we need to head back to Port Villa to try to get things uploaded.

In the interim,, the kids and Chris had a fantastic dive on the Coolidge, having a tea party with left over dishes, playing with a left over gun and military hat and also an electric clam.  They had two dives.. one in the morning to show them the size of the boat and to swim around the perimiter and the 2nd was to go through the inside of the boat... they saw the barber shop, doctors office, cargo holes with trucks and jeeps in them and many other things I will hopefully be able to have them write about since the girls and I stayed behind to clean the boat...

We are up at Oyster Island and had a beautiful day at the blue hole up here.  After a really tricky shallow channel entry into this cyclone hole it is well worth it... We did have to come in and anchor after the first channel entrance and then take the dinghy through the other one with Chris swimming the channel and getting a mental picture of the bottom below and all the coral bombs we needed to miss.  We ended up putting a buoy on one so that we didn't hit it and hopefully it will help future boaters coming in through the channel.

There are 3 blue holes up here but we just chose the most popular one... thankfully it was raining yesterday the hardest we have seen and we did not venture up to it... the cruise ship was in town and we missed sharing the blue hole with 500 of our closest friends... NOT!  Today the sun was out and it was beautiful... it was an amazing river ride up with lush vegetation everywhere and the birds were singing all around us... some large flying foxes going back and forth and cicadas in the back ground... as you got to the end Josef greeted you to his place... the kids immediately went for the rope swings tied to the dock and to the large banyan tree on the other side of the pool.  It was all fresh water from a spring below and was quite refreshing to swim in after the salty sea.  Amaia, Tristan, Alexia and Chris all of course jumped from the highest platform.. Alina and I could only go up a few rungs on the later but it was still fun.

It is time to go tomorrow.. we have a very narrow time frame and need to get back to Port Villa before the 16th... with the weather that is coming we have Wednesday and some of Thursday to tray and make it as far as we can ... hopefully all the way but if not we will duck into some remote island for a nights rest.... it is about 180 miles so about 40 hours to get to where we need to be by Friday night... Or to get ourselves in a good position for some easier sailing days with the wind coming in... crossing fingers for a non sick passage...

I will update when we get back into Port Villa with some of the pictures from our adventure after Pentecost although there isn't much that will top that stop.

Hope all is well with everyone at home...

Hugs and Love to all,


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