Like Steeler Footballer Troy Polamalu sliding between the gap of two big lumbering offensive tackles to put the big hit on some aspiring quarterback, we’ve had a rare north west wind push an unusual nasty rolly Pacific swell, shooting the gap between Mystery Island and Aneityum’s anchorage at Anelghowhat to put the hurt on us. A quick glance at a chart would convince anyone that this ought to be a very quiet anchorage. However the dead pig has most assuredly drifted past the boat. There’s not much wind but we gotta go, so we’ll be giving the temporary exhaust repair and our dwindling fuel supply a shakedown cruise. It’s not much of a float plan. Even someone as mathematically challenged such as Yours Truly can wrap his brain around this one. Some fifty-odd miles at five knots should put us into Port Resolution, Tanna Island, in about ten hours. We left in company with Pacha and crew, Amelia and Maurice, retired French Tahitian restauranteurs, only to watch their big sloop power over the horizon.
On our approach to Tanna we could clearly make out the column of smoke belching from Mount Yasur. Yikes, this thing’s for real. It turns out Port Resolution is a beautiful harbor and why would you expect anything less from Captain Cook who named the bay after his own trusty ship?
In the morning crews from all four yachts in the harbor turned out swabbing the black gritty fallout from Mt. Yasur off their decks. The stuff was everywhere and after two hours of cleaning I found that I could turn around and do it all again. But we’re on a mission. High on Marce’s bucket list is peering down into an active fire-belching volcano. Yeah, I know, but you gotta love the passion.
We climbed the steep path up the cliff to the Port Resolution Yacht Club overlooking the bay with the Pachas and made arrangements for a volcano date with Stanley, then wandered through Ireupuow, a beautiful, authentic and vibrant Vanuatu village. Beautiful people.
When you find yourself in Port Resolution, try Chez Leah’s place. Tasty, but Leah’s relaxed serving pace left us little time to prepare for the big show as we rushed back to our boats past several dugout fishing pirogues. You know, it’s one thing to see an old dugout pirogue in a museum but quite another to see old and newly carved pirogues out fishing and being used every day for transport. There are no aluminum jonboats in this bay.