Day 103, Year 2: Day 3 of Passage to Vanuatu
Date and Time: Sunday, August 5, 2007; 1800 Fiji Time
Weather: Winds E 15 Knots; Another Sunny Day with Temps in the Upper-70’s
Latitude: S 19 degrees 11.96 minutes
Longitude: E 172 degrees 29.45 minutes
Miles to Go: 171 (We have come 311.)
Location: Passage from Lautoka, Fiji to Port Resolution, Tanna Island, Vanuatu

Today was a wonderful gift. During the night, the wind died and we had to roll in the headsail and motor. We were both pretty certain that we would have to motor all the way to Tanna Island, but sometime mid-morning Ranger called on the VHF and said they were going to put out their genaker. They had been watching the winds carefully and they were starting to build. We had just tried sailing and were going a whopping 2.8 knots, so we had given up and rolled in the headsail. When Ranger called,
we examined the winds again carefully, they were indeed building into the lower teens. We rolled out the headsail once again, and we have had a wonderful day of lazy sailing downwind. We have up the full main and the headsail poled out and we have moved along between four and five knots all day. After the rough and tumble start to this passage, today really was a gift. According to the GRIB files this should continue through tomorrow, but then that could change. We are just grateful for today.

Ranger is still within sight, although they had a great sailing day with their genaker out. This is like a spinnaker, but it is asymmetrical and much easier to handle. We could have put ours out, but our Yankee headsail poled out seems to give us good speed speed. And it is a lot less trouble, so we went the lazy way today. It was a little difficult watching Ranger pull out in front of us, but I just talked to Marie on the VHF and they will be rolling in the genaker for the night and trying to
sail with their headsail which is a full genoa. Our headsail is a Yankee and it is cut much higher which allows us to pole it out. In downwind sailing without a pole the headsail often flaps with every wave. Hopefully there is enough wind so that we will not have to motor tonight.

We talked to Maggie Drum and White Swan this morning and found that they left Fiji yesterday afternoon. So they are only a day behind us. We sure hope they are having the same gentle winds and calm seas that we are experiencing. Dave and Kathy on La Vie arrived in Port Resolution today and Dave just sent us his track for the entry. I love email. It is great to get up-to-the-minute information like this. We are anxious to arrive and see Dave and Kathy again, and wait for the arrival of Joe and
Cindy (Maggie Drum) and Bob and Dianna (White Swan). Hopefully we can all explore Tanna together. The more I read, the more it sounds like the best of Vanuatu.

We spent part of today reviewing the information on malaria, which is a problem in Vanuatu, and trying to decide whether to take the preventative medication or go without and just be really, really careful not to get bitten by mosquitoes. Even if you take the medication, it is no guarantee, so you still have to be careful. We are going to sleep on the information and make our decision tomorrow. I have emailed our son-in’law’s father (Jed’s dad Donald), to ask for his advice. He is a physician
that worked for the National Institute of Health until he retired last year, so we are hoping he will have some sound advice. Every doctor we have consulted has had a difference of opinion, so in the end, we will have to make our own decision and live with it. It is not the rainy season, so maybe the mosquitoes are not the problem they can be in wetter times.

Once again, the sun is about to set and it is time for me to prepare dinner. I’m working furiously during the night watches to name as many photos as possible and get them ready to upload to the internet. Not in Tanna, but in the next island north, Efate, it looks like we should have good internet access and that we could get the pictures posted. It looked like that in Fiji as well, but that didn’t happen, so we shall see. Until tomorrow . . .