ORCV Melbourne to Vanuatu (M2V)
Tucked away nicely.
Sitting comfortably behind Chesterton Reef, like a cat curled up in the sun, is Tevake II, as she makes her way over to Mackay. Holly Fletcher had a call from Angus earlier on today, Tuesday July 27, to say that they had got there at 0600hrs AEST.
The Secretary is also in a lovely spot in Vanuatu's Islands, up North a little from Efate, where Port Vila is.
This is where they are in the region.
We received an email from Robyn Brooke this morning also. The HF radio has been fixed by Colin Miller (who usually speaks at events like the long distance seminars), who joined Robyn and Geo after the race for the jaunt through the islands and to assist with dropping off some of the loot that came over in the container. The email is the last one, from just before they got in and it goes a long way to adding detail to what we discussed on these pages, at the the time...
"Finally, we're barefoot sailing. Only the one layer now - we've swapped shoes for hats, neck warmers for sunnies and shorts for thermals. Although weary, yesterday's sailing conditions were sublime and for any of the crew who missed the 6-12 sky, tant pis! (never mind...) Yes, there's a little bit of school french coming through the boats now, as we sail from one country, blithely past la petite colonie de France, Nouvelle Caledonie, to our destination, Van-wa-tu, as Taupo Maritime radio call it."
"A minute of silence please for our brethren who are missing from this wonderful finale: The ORCV's very own veteran Yoko, 'all guns blazing' Gusto, 'the grannies in the caravan at the back of the fleet (and who win everything!)' Ingenue, arguably the best prepared and organised yacht Scarlet Runner and now ex-Commodore David Bingham and his buddies on Mirrabooka, who cruised over with the fleet in 2006 and decided to race this year. They are now anchored in a lagoon in New Cal with boat damage. The Taupo Maritime Radio operator last night was superb. She offered practical and timely assistance to the yacht and prepared their way into the marina in Noumea in a most professional manner. Thank you Taupo."
"George managed to crawl up and behind the wheel last night, every three hours or so, to give me a rest. The medical kit has been used to great effect, to minimise his pain and Turbo have promised him they will have a nurse waiting on the dock! Thanks Lynda for your great advice, I'm just not sure how we will get him up that plank."
"Now Geo is not a pill popper, so I have had my concerns about leaving him alone on deck at night, in his medicated state, but there was little option. We have had a constant companion overnight in Samskara and she kept a listening watch on the radio for us all night - thanks Kim, David and crew. Geo told me they had snuck through underneath us while I was resting last night - 'I saw their green light go past'. I wasn't so sure about that, as I would have seen them approach and there was still a boat light behind. At sked time, 0415hrs, they were one mile behind. Hmmm, green things that go past in the night. (What Robyn is referring to is that if they had gone below, it would have been a red light and at any rate, they were behind at sked time, so go figure...) Did I mention that Geo has been brushing up on his Bislama? The only expression other than Tankyu Tumas he recalls from his previous race, is 'titties in a basket', yep - bras." (Sounds like English to me, but what would I know?)
"Offshore Marine's, Colin Miller, is sourcing a new Raymarine drive unit for the Auto-helm and if he can't deliver it himself, hopefully our Chrissy Freeman will be able to bring it with her when she 'flies like a virgin' over here, to join us this weekend. She will definitely only have one layer, as in her kit she is also bringing us the replacement boom brake unit, which is the device that stops the boom from swinging wildly across in light breezes and lumpy seas. It has been very useful on this trip to reduce the stress on the rig and the risk of injury."
"For a short time this morning, I thought we might have to tack. Goodness, how do we do that? We've been on this tack since Wilson's Prom! As we approach our destination, I've done a stocktake of the fridge and have only had to feed the fish some chicken and salad greens. I found some treasures buried deep, so over the last couple of days we have enjoyed braised lamb in red wine jus, Peking Duck with spicy plum sauce and a superb porterhouse steak with fried rice last night. The weather is now perfect for salads, but I must say it has been hard work regulating the fridge temperature to keep the meat and the salads healthy. Thanks to the medication, Geo is not confined to his bunk, so I'm still able to prepare meals in my time off the wheel, just doing it a lot faster!"
This is what their overall routes look like, so far.
We'll keep bringing you the tales of the Coral Sea legends...
By John Curnow