Day 139, Year 2: Planning, Planning, and Planning
Date: Monday, September 10, 2007
Weather: Mostly Overcast
Location: Sema (Esema) Bay Anchorage, Havannah Harbor, Efate

It was not in the plans, but I got up at 5:30 AM this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. So I got up and enjoyed the early morning here in Sema Bay. Roosters were crowing, turtles were swimming, and birds of all kinds were singing. And it was only 74 degrees out which made it feel like fall to me. At 6 AM I listened to The Rag radio net to see who is sailing where and to check out the weather. Mary Christine, the French woman out here single handing, sailed out of the anchorage just as the
sun came up. Not long after, Mary and Chris on Aventura pulled up anchor. They are sailing Jimmy Cornell’s original Aventura and they are heading north to the Solomons, on to the Phillipines, and to Hong Kong. I’m not an early morning person, but this early morning was delightfully quiet time here in Sema Bay.

Mark got up earlier than usual, but not as early as I did. Just as he came up into the cockpit, one of the local outriggers came up to the boat. It was a man, his wife, and their six year-old little girl. Roland and Anna were the couple and their daughter’s name was Dellianna. They were sailing from Moso Island to the mainland to their garden. In fact, there are a number of outriggers and a couple of aluminum boats with motors that make this trip most days. Roland, Anna, Dellianna were going
to their garden, and then Anna and Dellianna were going to take the vegetables and ride the bus to Vila to the market there. That market is open round the clock, so they would be spending the night in Vila. They were such a delightful family and so happy to see Americans. Dellianna was named after an American friend, and Roland pointed out to us that the US and Vanuatu flags both have the same motto. Our is “In God We Trust” and theirs is “Blong God Yu Me Stand Upum” (or something like that).
This is the second time we have heard this, so I need to find out the exact Bislama writing on the Vanuatu flag.

Ranger called early this morning to tell us that they had decided to head back to Vila tomorrow morning. I was still hoping to try and find our way into some tricky anchorages nearby where there is supposed to be fantastic snorkeling. But one of the islands requires permission from a village chief in a village that is not easily accessible and all of the anchorages come with risks due to lots of coral heads. I persisted into the afternoon saying we would not head back to Vila but explore some
of the “risky” anchorages, but after rereading the information, I had second thoughts. We have decided to head back to Vila with Ranger tomorrow. I will have many opportunities to snorkel in New Caledonia, and once we made the decision to head straight back to Vila tomorrow, I started getting excited about getting there and being able to check the internet for updated photos on Picasa of our kids. Our son Justin turns 30 on Friday and it will be great to be in port and be able to talk to him on
that special day.

We went to shore today and watched Paul and Marie scrubbing the bottom of their dinghy on the beach, and then went for a short walk. When we got back to Windbird, I worked on naming photos and Mark did some maintenance work. He had to go up the mast to take out a light that is not working, and that requires that I am at the foot of the mast holding on to the rope that assures he won’t fall. After that adventure, the rest of the day was spent planning. I have talked a lot about future planning
in recent logs. That is because when we get back to Vila, we will need to make flight reservations if we are coming home in November. And in order to make the reservations, we need to know when we will fly home. And that depends on where we are going next. So one thing leads to another and requires at least an inkling of what comes next. We know we are leaving in a week or so for New Caledonia. And we know we are leaving New Caledonia during the last week of October for Bundeburg, Australia.
We don’t know exactly where we will be keeping Windbird for the cyclone season, but it will be somewhere between Brisbane and Bundeburg, Australia. And we need to figure that out quickly as places are filling up. We need to make a reservation for Windbird as soon as possible. We know we will start sailing north up the coast of Australia in April or early May of next year and end up in Darwin on the north coast of Australia in early July. Then the fun starts. If Indonesia is a possibility, we
will be sailing to places whose names I have never heard before and end up in Singapore and finally in Thailand by November. Then we wait for a few months for the monsoon season to end and head across the Indian Ocean by way of Sri Lanka, the Maldives, the Seychilles, Madagascar, and finally South Africa by Christmas of 2009. If Indonesia is not a possibility because of the new law requiring exorbitant fees, then we will sail from Darwin to Bali to Christmas Island and on across to South Africa,
arriving there by Christmas of 2008. So although we have to be super flexible on this, we need to have information now in order to make the decisions. This is why planning, planning, planning, has been a top priority in the past few days. In this process, I’m learning all kinds of things about places in the world that I have never heard of before. It is both exciting and daunting.

So off to Vila tomorrow. We will be there in the afternoon, head straight to the internet cafe to check out photos of our kids, and then begin the planning for the sail to New Caledonia.

070910 Day 139 Efate, Vanuatu–Life in Sema Bay, Havannah Harbor
Day 140, Year 2: . . . and Captain Cook Didn't Have a GPS
Day 138, Year 2: Arrival in Havannah Harbor