40-mile/6-hour lead at the end of the 300-nm jaunt! Out of sight and a complete horizon job after only four hours from the point outside Port Villa, Vanuatu… Eighteen to twenty knots of wind beam to close reaching for the first half of the sprint. Then big 35-knot wind acceleration from between the volcanoe of Tanna and the other islands to windward, similiar to what happens in the channels between the Hawaiian Islands.
Then light upwind through the Loyalty Islands on the second day to the Havana reef pass in New Caledonia at the 2 1/2 day mark. A brief pit-stop in Prony Bay before the bright lights of Noumea and Club Med where I first learned to windsurf! Its been like twenty years since I’ve been here and I’m pleased to find the people are friendlier and nicer than before.
I can’t say the same about Port Villa in Vanuatu which is getting over-run by Australian tourists who are buying up property and trying to turn the whole water-front into something akin to ‘Surfer’s Paradise’ on the Gold Coast.
Now, I’ve checked in with customs and will likely let the ‘Goddess of War’ ~ ISIS safely rest here.
There’s a good slips here, so we’ll likely take this option – do the delivery – return and then either sail ISIS to Australia or back to Fiji for cyclone season…