Lots of new pictures up on the site...check them out! Even some in the water photos for you Sandra C.
The last night at "Big Waters" waterfall anchorage was not a pleasant one. The roll picked up at about midnight and Michael (who's arm was sore from his leap of faith), had to find a new place to slumber. At daybreak we pulled up the anchor in a pretty good sea and headed 22 miles south to another anchorage on Maewo – Asanvari Bay. That 22 miles took us nine hours (and we motored the last 9 miles). The winds were hooting from the south/southeast – right on the nose. Even though we were on the leeward side of the long island of Maewo – even close to shore – the wind was gusting to 28 knots. The seas were also right on the nose and Astarte would come to a near dead stop after three in a row. We tacked until we were about two miles off the rhumb line and then would head back towards the slightly calmer seas nearer shore. Our 22 miles probably ended up being 40 miles.
Upon arrival in Asanvari, it became calm in this very pretty anchorage. There were three other boats here – one was our Swiss friends Esti, Mario and Laura aboard Mares. We hadn't seen then since we all left on the same day from New Zealand. They went on to Fiji. The other was our newer New Zealand friends Lance and Michelle aboard "Sweet Waters." We hunted for a spot which we found very challenging. The bay goes from very deep to shallow with lots and lots and lots of scattered bommies. We dropped our anchor where Lance suggested but it didn't feel good so we pulled it up and sure enough we had found something to wrap around. It took a few tries to get it up. We then moved closer to Mares and again it wasn't perfect. We waited until the morning and better light to move.
The anchorage was beautifully calm and we slept peacefully after a tough night and long day. The next morning Michael went to check the anchor (where's anchor boy when we need him???) and it wasn't pretty. We worked at getting the anchor up while Michael was in the water directing the proceedings. Barbara had to run from windlass to steering. We searched and searched for a better spot and ended up (after a few tries) and with the help of Mario from Mares now in the water to direct anchor placement dropping the hook in 55 feet of water. That's deep! We enjoyed an evening aboard Mares and met the folks from the other Swiss boat, Momo. We had known the previous owners of this boat who were part of the class of 2012 Pacific Passage group.
We can see why Asanvari is a favored anchorage for cruisers in Vanuatu. It is a beautiful spot with a white sand beach on one side and a waterfall on another side. We had fresh hot bread delivered to the boat this morning at 6:45 by Columbus and his daughter (or granddaughter) and it was tasty. Later a young boy came by with three eggs to trade. There is a small "yacht club" at the bottom of the waterfall run by Alex and his son Carl (though we understand you can get a meal but they are out of beer so it's BYO.)
Its been a bit gusty and rainy – then blue sky and sun – and back to cloudy. So a mixed bag. We are going to sit here until we can find a better weather window to head back south towards Port Vila. We need a bit more easterly component to make the trek south – or at least lighter winds than the 20 plus knots predicted over the next few days. The seas and gusts between islands can get fierce – so we'll wait for some moderation.
Not a bad place to wait when hot bread gets delivered every other day!
At 9/11/2015 8:27 PM (utc) S/V Astarte was located at 15°22.60'S 168°07.99'E
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