Fri Nov 22 2:57 2019 NZDT
GPS: 19 24.2058N 35 21.8058W
Run: 8.2nm (14.8km)
Avg: 8.2knts
24hr: 196.8nm

Position report sent via Iridium GO

Wed Nov 20 1:45 2019 NZDT
GPS: 20 55n 29 45w
Run: 5.6nm (10.1km)
Avg: 7knts
24hr: 168nm

All's well. Here's a message from Beata to family: Sziasztok! Jol vagyunk! Az ut 25-30% mar mogottunk van. Meleg a szel, sut a nap, guonyoruek a csillagok. Meg is ihlettek ugy h irtam egy verset Levinek! Az ejjeli muszakok kicsit lassan telnek de hozza szoktam mar. Szotyi, csillagok, fekvo tamasz. :) sok a delfin es keves a hajo. Remelem latjatok ezt! Millio puszi! Bea

Mon Nov 18 6:15 2019 NZDT
GPS: 23 19n 24 49w
Run: 1.5nm (2.7km)
Avg: 5knts
24hr: 120nm

Very little has changed since our last report, still trundling downwind at good speed under just the twin jibs. Beata was attacked by a flying fish last night (at least that's her story, the fish may have a different opinion) but she eventually returned it to the freedom of the ocean.

Sat Nov 16 3:15 2019 NZDT
GPS: 25 48n 18 60w
Run: 2.5nm (4.5km)
Avg: 7.1knts
24hr: 171.4nm

We had a good fast day yesterday. We are now clear of the Canaries wind acceleration zone so we have slowed down a bit from our peak when we surfed at 17 knots. We are still making good speed dead downwind with just the twin jibs up, goosewinged on the new furler. This setup is working really well. We are managing to sail comfortably at half the wind speed with just the jibs. At this rate we will not need to use the main at all! All's well and the sun is shining.

Tue Nov 5 0:00 2019 NZDT
GPS: 33 21n 11 20w
Run: 191.8nm (347.2km)
Avg: 274.1knts
24hr: 6578.6nm

nice sunny morning, weather has been patchy showers but mostly fair. wind keeps shifting but all reaching. progress is very good. All's well and we are starting to get into the rhythm of watches and catch up on sleep.

Sun Nov 3 10:05 2019 NZDT
GPS: 38 45.23781N 9 5.58225W

We are preparing to depart early tomorrow morning if the forecast remains suitable. We will try to update our position here regularly but if you are following our updates here then please DO NOT WORRY if the position reports stop appearing, it doesn't mean there is any problem.

Fri Oct 25 1:29 2019 NZDT
GPS: 38 45N 9 6W
Run: 1339.5nm (2424.5km)
Weather: Rather pleasant

In lisbon preparing to cross the Atlantic

Ohana - Rapa iti island

Some photos from our first couple of days in rapa...

Ohana - Photos from the voyage to rapa

We're struggling to get usable Internet here but this is an attempt to upload some photos of my birthday cake and the pay we made for the engine on the way to rapa. Photos of rapa coming soon if this works!

My awesome birthday cake, baked by Nico at sea on the way to rapa
The new oil pickup pipe we made on passage, getting it into the bowels if the engine wasnt easy!

Ohana - Pilotage chart of Olal, Ambrym, Vanuatu

We were warmly welcomed by the villagers at Olal who have built a brand new yacht club and bar there and organise the annual Rom dances and Back to my roots festival. Unfortunately yachts never visit there and anchor an hour's walk away just because Olal is not in any of the cruising guides or pilot books. We decided to fix that and carried out a survey of the anchorage which we will submit to all the vanuatu cruising guides... here it is so you can be one of the first yachts to visit!

Further

pilotage info:

Neighbouring Nopul is a good anchorage (Much better than Ranon) but it
means a very long walk to Olal including crossing a ford which can be impassable
after heavy rain. We spent 3 nights there before moving to Olal to do
the survey.

Olal has the new yacht club and bar and is where chief Sekur lives.
The Rom dances and two annual festivals are held about ten minutes
walk inland and everyone comes back to the yacht club afterwards.
While we were there the BBC were filming a documentary primarily about
the volcano but also featuring the dancing at Olal. The
villagers there are doing good things to raise money for the school,
keep their traditions alive and put on wonderful events where the
dances are very real, not just put on for tourists and they are making
a real effort to attract yachts. Chief sekur has travelled widely as a
cultural ambassador for Vanuatu. He can organise dances, pig feasts
and open the bar any time, all night on occasion! The chief at Nopul
was also very friendly but there is not much to do there.

I would say Nopul is the better anchorage in trade winds mainly
because it is bigger but on windy days you can get random gusts and
swing about there. In Olal the wind is less gusty and there is a
steady breeze which is better for ventilation and power generation,
not much swinging. The reef offers good shelter from all sides except
from the north. We had winds from due east and although the waves can
wrap around the end of the reef a bit our anchor location still had
very good shelter. It could be a little rolly right at the top of the
tide for a monohull but otherwise very calm.

The depth soundings were calibrated roughly to spring low tide.
The least depth I saw on the sounder as we swung at anchor was 1.9
metres and deeper water was available nearer to the entrance.

Waves were not a problem in the entrance at all in the conditions we
had but they did come over the reef towards the dinghy channel a bit
at dead high tide.

Locals reported that a major tsunami or storm surge a few years ago
had drastically altered the anchorage, destroying the wharf and
reducing the depth by several metres. silting up may be continuing and
the sands may still be shifting. Locals who came aboard were surprised
when they saw our depth sounder, expecting a lot more water (a small
cruise ship used to visit Olal until the wharf was destroyed).

We had only about 15m of chain out, there would be room for maybe 2-3
big yachts in there on short scope if they are not too deep drafted, plus a
couple more cats if they have daggerboards.

Holding seemed very good but avoid the rubble near the reef, there
were a few larger boulders there which could snag an anchor.

A new airstrip is under construction at Olal near the school, nearing completion
now. I got the impression Olal hope to become the main transport hub as well
as already being the main cultural centre of Ambrym.

As the waves push water in over the reef the current appeared to always flow
towards and out of the entrance and can be strong between the inner pair of stakes
and in the small boat channels both sides of the harbour, especially in the first half
of a falling tide. this current probably helps reduce swinging but might make it
unsafe to swim.

To download the chart - click on the image of it at the top left of this blog. A bigger but still squashed version will appear. Right click on that and select "save image as..." or the equivalent option in your web browser to save the full size image.

Ohana - Beachcomber island

Beachcomber island is welcoming to yachts and has moorings available. Free mooring with $10/person landing fee. It's a backpacker resort on a tiny island. (Etai island according to the charts)

treasure island and ohana viewed from beachcomber island
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