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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010 - The Home Stretch and Arrival at Tanna, Vanuatu

The honeymoon is over. We knew the easy three days was too good to be true, and I guess so did Neptune. It seemed last evening and into the night he raised his trident high, rallying forth the winds and then striking the seas declaring it time to let the good times roll! The seas bucked Destiny about seeming to express anger at our intrusion, tossing us like a rag doll. The winds were back up to 25+ knots and howling through our rigging and mast. We were in a bit of a pickle because we had no choice but to slow this mustang down. We could have run with it and made a much smoother ride for ourselves but we simply could not risk a nighttime approach into Tanna, hence we reefed in the main, furled the headsail and set the stay sail (storm gib) and rode the rollercoaster into the night. If you like amusement park rides, you would have loved this one. Topside it wasn't so bad, but trying to sleep below was agony. Thank goodness it was for only one night.

We arrived as planned at the entrance to Port Resolution at 7:30 AM. In 1774, Captain James Cook upon approaching the island of Tanna noticed a great glow coming from the island. He entered this bay to investigate. The glow of course was fiery Mount Yasur, but the Islanders would not let him approach the volcano that they considered "tabu", sacred/hallowed ground. So he contented to name the bay, Port Resolution, after his boat, the HMS Resolution.

We had tried to get here last year, but it just didn't happen. We are very pleased to be here now and look forward to visiting as much of the island as possible. Our friends who have preceded us here say it is their favorite island in Vanuatu

Tanna has a fascinating history and apparently a lot to offer tourists, including a trip up the volcano, which is no longer "tabu" except during special times of the year. "Yasur" in local Tannese means "Old Man" and is believed to be the originator of the universe by the indigenous locals. It is believed that after death, their spirits are returned to the volcano. Some of them must be angry spirits because it sure is still going strong after all these years.
Since it is Sunday, we cannot clear in to the country until tomorrow and may not go ashore until then. We thought we'd set the anchor and then hit the sack, but Frank wanted to rinse the boat down before the salt baked in, and I decided to cook us a formidable breakfast. Then of course after the tossing we took I had to tidy up inside and he got busy outside trying to find the leak in "dinghy". Locals began to drift by in their little dugout outrigger canoes either to investigate the new arrivals or to show us their fine bananas and coconuts for which we could trade batteries, clothing or other goods. Then Stanley from the yacht club stopped by to arrange our transportation into town tomorrow for clearance. We will leave the boat a 6:30 AM. We understand it is about a 2-3 hour ride in a pickup truck and that we are to bring our own seat cushion. This should be fun!

It's 5 PM. We never got our naps, but plan to sleep well tonight because we have to get up early. Oh, and update on my face smash ordeal: I've managed to get by with just a few cuts on my nose and seem to have somewhat quelled the swelling. There is just a bit of bruising across my nose, and it may be spreading to my right eye but it's hard to tell just yet. My friend Julia gave me some homeopathic pills that may help. Everyone thinks my nose is broken but somehow I don't think so.

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