Having reviewed the weather, we decided that moving to Mele Bay may result in an uncomfortable night, so we opted to stay in Matapu Bay for another night and enjoyed the finale and "price-giving" ceremony of the dinghy racing. Another fun afternoon indeed, where we spent time chatting to Jane and Russ, who were very excited about their recent purchase, "Kit Cat", a Leopard 46. We obviously had lots of knowledge to impart which they were, no doubt, grateful for.
We spent yesterday morning exploring in the dinghy and ended up at the lovely Havannah Resort, where we were made to feel very welcome, while enjoying a coffee, freshly baked pastries and a much needed walk around their grounds to stretch our legs. Unfortunately our ideas of snorkeling the reefs have gone out the window as we've only had one sunny day since arriving in Vanuatu. The remainder of the time has been overcast, rainy and definitely on the cooler side, which hasn't exactly enticed us into wanting to swim! The water is so clear here, though, that you don't actually have to snorkel to see the underwater world. Yesterday we saw the most unusual fish, including a very unusual starfish, just by peering over the edge of the dock at the resort.
This morning we had an early departure to coincide with the tides in order to reduce the impact of the standing waves at "Devil's Point" en route back to Port Vila and were delighted to see dolphins again.
This afternoon we officially cleared out of Vanuatu, but with an "undeclared departure date", which allows us to still visit the islands to the south of Efate Island. As such, we'll depart Port Vila tomorrow for our overnight sail to Erromango Island, but prior to that we'll obtain our duty-free diesel and alcohol, as well as do some top up provisioning.
It is so refreshing to encounter officials that accommodate cruisers in this way, making it so much easier to visit parts of their country that would otherwise be off the beaten track. Also, to receive a level of service beyond that which we have encountered elsewhere was amazing - The customs official actually delivered all our paperwork to Paw Paw this afternoon so that we didn't have to hang around and wait for it. That's sevice you can't beat!