I work fast I know…after reading the last blog about our final days in Tonga, it’s another back logged entry about our short time in Wallis. We left Vavau, Tonga on August 2nd and arrived on the reef fringed island of Uvea (Wallis) on August 5th in the early morning. We then floated outside the reef for a few hours until the sun came up so we could make it through the pass through the reef in daylight.
Anyone thinking of going to Wallis, the pass close to low tide is probably the best time to go through as quite a bit of current can pass through the area and on our way back out, it was a bit bumpy where the pass meets the open ocean. Wallis is located NE of Fiji about 200 nautical miles away (241 land miles or 388 KM) 13.2959° S, 176.2057° W. It became a French protectorate in 1965 and now has imported French cheese and baguettes as a result.
We considered going to Wallis way back when we were at Big Mama’s Yacht club at the beginning of our time in Tonga. We heard the snorkeling was amazing and not many people go there so we decided to go to Wallis and skip Fiji. Upon arrival in Wallis, we were surprised that the police (Gendarme) spoke some English as we were trying to practice our French phrases over the 2 day sail and learning to say (we are on a yacht) was proving quite difficult. They were able to stamp our passports for entry, then we waited until customs was open on Monday to complete the proper yacht arrival forms. We did this with our friends Hamish and Ulrika on Adamite who we met when we were originally in the Ha’apais. Wanderlust and Adamite were yachts 57 and 58 to visit Wallis this year.
We were happy to get some baguettes and never made it back to the boat with our first one as we ate the whole thing on the walk back to the dinghy.
After anchoring in the extremely windy East side of the island we quickly made our way down South where Andy was able to prepare his kite for some kiteboarding. However, the island was in a wind shadow so I dinghied him and his board out away from the wind shadow while he kept the kite up at the 12 o’clock position, then he hopped off very impressively and was on his way. After being spoiled in Tonga with pristine kiting conditions, he was less than impressed, but the snorkeling was beautiful and I’m glad we chose to go to Wallis. We failed at charging the gopro so sorry, no photos.
On our last day in Wallis, we anchored down the southwest side near some fuel silos and the guys on Adamite were kind enough to dinghy us all in so we could clear out and hit the shops. I of course grew tired of walking quite quickly and had read that passing passenger trucks will usually stop for hitch hikers. We all hopped into one of 3 trucks that would eventually take us to the the large supermarket (SEM). If you are reading this and plan to visit Wallis, this giant supermarket is on the main road LEFT after the police station (where the road splits in three) we did not choose this third route when we originally went exploring. We managed to get a giant bottle of red wine for $20 and somehow spent $30 on 4 tomatoes…the fresh produce was expensive, but not that expensive…apparently the scale thought 4 tomatoes weighed 1.5 kg and we didn’t realize until after we were back on the boat…Thankfully, Hamish thought to find out at the supermarket where we actually had to get back to and the people made him a sign for the side of the road. A kind lady in a tiny blue car managed to shove all four of us and her young child into the car and took us back to where the dinghy was. I was actually amazed we made it back to where we started from.
We departed Wallis on Thursday, August 10th and had a beautiful sail all the 960 nautical miles to Luganville, Vanuatu. We even had a bird hitch hike on the boat for 4 consecutive nights.Thanks bird for decorating Wanderlust with all your poops. After 7 days at sea, we arrived yesterday and we are currently anchored off beachfront resort off the island of Santo in Vanuatu and so far we’ve found the people of Vanuatu extremely friendly. Beachfront is also a one stop shop as they allow yachties to use their wifi and pool if you buy drinks or food. They have a drinking water tap to refill jerry jugs, hot showers, a book exchange, and can send laundry off for us as well. Everything we could want.
Until next time,
Bre & Andy