Arrival in Vanikoro

Expedition Diaries : Arrival in Vanikoro


We made it! After an eventful couple of days in Graciosa Bay next to Lata, where rigging repairs were made; contact with the nurses on Vanikoro was made; and building materials for the medical centre repairs were stowed away.  We arrived in Vanikoro at about 7 this morning.

We made a careful entrance in the pitch blackness of the night. Having no depth sounder on board, we were concerned over the shallow reef on both sides of the entrance. We used spotlights and the radar to help guide ourselves, but when locals on shore saw what we were doing they helped guide us in by using flashlights and whistling to direct us around the dangerous parts.

Our welcoming party of local children gathered shyly around the boat, but gained confidence when Chris formed a frisbee out of old rope. We played frisbee with them on the wharf, attracting a scattering of other people from the small village around the bay.

Mary spoke with one of the local men who put their lifestyle into perspective saying that life is very simple for them, that they don’t make much money but they have plenty of food and shelter so it doesn’t matter that they aren’t wealthy.

Chris, Cat and I are due to meet with the local medical clinic committee tomorrow to discuss what we hope to achieve while we are here and a plan to make it all happen.