Last we wrote, we had just arrived in Luganville, Vanuatu on the island of Espiritu Santo and we were taking care of things like customs, water refills and general relaxation after being at sea for a week. Over the course of the past 2 weeks we’ve discovered a bit of this island and after a few days going up and down the east coast, we’re back anchored outside of Beachfront resort waiting for two friends, (Tasha and Amanda) to arrive this afternoon with hopefully a working depth sounder.
We tried our best to be good little tourists while we’ve been here. After our initial few days of recovery, we snorkeled at Million Dollar Point and saw the artificial reef growing on a pile of WWII relics. When the USA pulled out of this area after using it as a base to deter the Japanese from any advancement further into the Pacific theatre, they trashed “A million dollar’s” worth of equipment by lining it all up and “driving” it into the sea by weighting down the accelerators with bricks and rocks. Before that, the U.S. tried to sell the equipment to the Vanuatu government at the time, but the French were ruling then and refused, thinking the Americans would leave the equipment anyway…well I guess that didn’t work out how they expected.
We met some fellow yachties when we got back from snorkeling and after helping them load some of their provisions into their dinghy, we found out they were doing the Millennium cave tour the next day. We decided we might as well come along and after a day of climbing up and down a bunch of ladders in the jungle and floating down a river, we were pretty tired for the next two days. This made us realize just how out of shape we’ve become despite what we consider exercise like hauling water and swimming almost daily. It was a great day out and is owned and run by a local village who do a great job.
Andy went on a couple of dives on the wreck of the Coolidge over the next 2 days (no good photos unfortunately) and then we motor sailed up to Hog Harbor/Champagne beach on the NE corner of Santo.
After snorkeling and kayaking our way around the Champagne beach anchorage, we made our way through an extremely dicey pass to anchor behind Oyster Island (midway between Champagne beach and Luganville). Several people we met wanted to give us the waypoints to get through this reef area, but even with the way points, we would’ve landed over a pretty large coral bommie, so we took it slow and I was at the bow keeping a keen lookout with a pair of Andy’s reef spotting polarized sunglasses. We have no idea how shallow the pass actually was as our depth sounder has been iffy at best and hasn’t worked since Wallis. Wanderlust stayed off the coral and the bottom and we anchored in a very sheltered spot. We dinghied up a river to the Matevulu blue hole and had a swim in the fresh water.
We left Oyster Island the next day at high tide and thankfully followed our path on the chart plotter from the day before so no coral surprises. Then we anchored down in Pelikula bay and checked out a couple of surface shipwrecks.
Thankfully it is now raining profusely and the scorching day has finally cooled off. We are stocked up with fuel, water and all kinds of tasty treats for a week with Tasha and Amanda and we are headed slowly South to meet up with more friends towards the end of September.
Until next time,
Bre & Andy