We woke to another rainy, miserable day in Port Vila yesterday morning, so rather than both of us slugging through the mud and getting wet, Elaine stayed on board to ready Paw Paw for our overnight sail to Erromango Island, while Roy headed to town to get our top up provisioning and dinghy fuel, then the fuel dock to purchase our very expensive duty-free diesel to top up the tanks. By mid-morning we were ready. We had, however, decided to have an early dinner before setting sail. With a cruise ship in port, we settled on a visit back to "Chill".
Fortunately we had the favourable winds with a more northerly component that were forecasted, which meant we were able to sail straight to Dillon's Bay on a beat, but without having to tack. We, however, experienced rougher than expected seas for the first few hours which, thankfully, settled down as we approached the island.
On arrival, although we were surprised to find two other yachts in the anchorage, encountering a beautiful lush island which reminded us of the Marquesas in many ways, was definitely unexpected. We had no sooner anchored and had breakfast, when Chief Jacob came to visit.
Representing the largest village on Erromango Island, he welcomed us, we exchanged "gifts" - Fruit for us, sugar and rice for him, along with some left over "kava" we had from Fiji, before spending an hour or so chatting. We learnt that the village is situated along the river and has 500 inhabitants. There is no electricity supply, except for the village freezer which has solar panels and batteries to run it. Cooking is done on an open fire, rain water is captured in tanks, but also piped from the river. There is a primary school, a secondary school and a clinic with a full-time nurse, but a doctor has visited twice this year so far. Their diet comprises fish, wild pig, chicken, fruit and vegetables. The main mode of transportation is a dugout canoe which takes approximately three days to make. The staggering aspect was the seven different denomination of churches represented. Fascinating indeed!
By then it was time for our nap and, given that we have brought the rain with us, we're enjoying a lazy day aboard, with the intention of visiting the village tomorrow.
We apologise for forgetting our "bislama" lesson on the previous two blogs, but below are a few advanced sentences as the last lesson.
"Can you take me to town?" - "Yu save tekem mi go long town?"
"The airport is close to the sea." - "Epot i stap klosap long solwota."
Log Day 601 Answer: "I like coconuts."
We hope you've enjoyed learning a little "bislama" with us.