After what seems like endless delays we are finally underway to the Philippines!!! The passage from Palau to Surigao, our first port, is about 500NM, so with any luck and some good winds we should be in the Philippines in 4-5 days. As always we will be dropping a GSP waypoint daily via our SPOT. You can follow along on our Facebook page or HERE.
Until we see you on the other side, Safe Sailing!
So the weather is looking good.
The pin on the right is where we are and the small island in the upper left is where we are going. Looks like we’ll head north out of Kavieng for a while to find favourable winds to push us west. With any luck passage will be a quick 10 days but since we are skirting equator it could be longer.
As usual we will drop a ping with our SPOT each day with our GPS location so you can follow along. Find the updates on our FB page or on the website. We do not have email at sea so we will check in online only when we arrive in Palau and have communications sorted. Until then, safe sailing!
I realize things have been a little quiet around here. The thing is comm’s in the Solomon’s aren’t great. We don’t have dedicated internet or email on board and depend on the local cell phone networks to keep up with things online. Outside the few larger townships getting a cell signal sometimes requires a tin foil hat and a few hours of my time. Besides spending my time looking for the “Telekom tree” to stand under and perching percariously on the bow underway with the phone raised above my head searching for signal I have also paid take local boats 45 minutes ride to the nearest town just to send an email, file a story or check the long range weather forecast.
Rest assured things are good onboard and the Solomon’s are treating us well. I am excited to share it all with you but so far am not having much luck. So until the next cell tower looms into view (and they haven’t run out of gasoline to run the generator that powers the tower) you can follow us via our SPOT which is activited each time we move. You can also follow us on Instagram (an app that seems to work with barely any signal at all) and on facebook (the SPOT is automatically linked to our page).
We stopped for the last time in Vanuatu at the small town of Sola on Vanua Lava island in the Banks island group. We thought it might be an opportunity to pick up a few veggies to replenish the stocks that we’ve eaten through over our last week of delays.
It is a pretty little town, much more organised and tended than a lot of the outer island towns we’ve visited. As usual there are several small stores along the stone and dirt road but we missed the market where veggies are sold by a day. When we inquired at one store if they had any tomatoes or kumala (sweet potato) to sell the old lady who ran the tidy little shop said no then asked us if we’d come by boat. When we replied yes she called to her husband in the back and a great flurry of activity and conversation ensued and she produced a small bag of tomatoes from her garden, a little cabbage, two choko, and two large hands of green bananas. They insisted we take them, free of charge. We couldn’t possibly eat that many bananas before they spoil so we settled on only one hand and insisted we pay, something. All they would accept was 300 vatu, or about $3.50.
After two days of beating against 20-25 kt winds we are finally tucked into Port Boise just inside the Havannah Pass, almost exactly where we started from a month ago. Tomorrow morning on the out going tide we are planning to slip through the pass and point NE to Vanuatu. Winds look like they will be easing and, fingers crossed, we should have a nice beam reach all the way there. Port Vila is only about 400NM so we expect a 3 day sail.
During the passage we will be checking in with the SPOT daily, check out our progress HERE.
New Caledonia has been fantastic, in fact we don’t really want to leave and our VISA would allow us two more months here, but time marches on, commitments beckon and new adventures await.
So until we return New Caledonia, like it says on your beer cans, you’re Number 1 with us.
We HAD to get rid of our last few French Polynesian Francs.