I wasn't able to establish a good SailMail connection yesterday or this morning - Sunday - but I will try again tonight and tomorrow morning and who knows, perhaps I will get through. I'm just hoping the problem is not the Radio - if youre reading this on SUnday Night or Monday morning then I guess the Radio wasn't the problem, which will be a huge relief to me.
The weather has continued to be somewhat problematic with strong trades around 20 - 25 knots according to the last GRIB I saw and reflected in the Bay as gusts reaching 20 even though the sky has cleared almost completely and after a few showers over night the rain has gone. Everyone here seems to be set on heading North to Port Vila tomorrow, which was my plan as well, so I have begun preparations for departure in the morning. The BIG issue has been the request to help with transport to the nearby Island of Aniwa of up to 9 people from there who have been trapped on Tanna with no money to pay for the trip home. I had agreed to take 3 and so had the eccentric Italian, but yesterday morning to everyone's surprise he pulled up his anchor and sailed north on his own. That put more pressure on me and I increased my Passenger List to 5. I asked the sailors on another biggish yacht that came in yesterday if they could lend a hand but they were reluctant. In any event 5 is all I can agree to and I understand the other sailors reluctance - it is rather inconvenient, and alters the sail plan and adds a little stress to departure time and the ETA. As long as I arrive in Port Vila Tuesday before dark that will have been OK, but it does depend somewhat on the passengers arriving on time and being taken off at the other end on time. I keep telling Nelson they MUST get their support well organized at the other end, and he reassures me that they have.
I've been keeping the batteries topped up by running the engine for an hour in the mornings, something which I hate doing, but its necessary. Ive also been through my stores and taken ashore for David a few things that I will probably never eat, some I would but wont before I get to Vila so can be replaced, and I've also given bags of rice that I bought in Fiji for the express purpose of giving to people. AFter wandering the village this morning and chatting to various people I went to the big soft comfy chairs at the Yacht Club and ate dried apricots, and almonds ,with water for lunch while I read some more chapters on WWI. What an horrendous debacle that whole event was from start to finish!
Soon I expect canoes to start arriving alongside with the bags of the people I will be taking in the morning, and after thats done I'll go ashore for the last time because David has invited me to his place for a Farewell dinner!
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com