Vanuatu to New Caledonia to Australia Boat Delivery - Oct/Nov 2007

Click on the 1st photo to open the viewer...
Pacific Air flight from LA, landing Fiji.Fiji AirportFlying over VanuatuLanding in VanuatuIririki Island, Port Vila, VanuatuIririki Resort, Port Vila, Vanuatu
Port Vila to Espiritu Santo Flight
Port Vila to Espiritu Santo Flight
Port Vila to Espiritu Santo Flight
Espiritu Santo AirportPort Vila to Espiritu Santo Flight
Beachfront Hotel, Espiritu Santo
Beachfront Hotel, Espiritu Santo
Beachfront Hotel, Espiritu Santo
Beachfront Hotel, Espiritu Santo.  This was Mel's and my room.
Beachfront Hotel, Espiritu Santo
Luganville, Espiritu SantoFarmer's market - Luganville, Espiritu SantoLuganville, Espiritu Santo - Handmade wears for sale along the roadway.A Luganville Hotel/Restaurant where we had dinner.A Luganville Hotel/Restaurant where we had dinner.Beachfront Hotel, Espiritu Santo
at sunset.Luganville to Mota Lava Flight.  We're flying to one of the northern most islands to pick up the boat.Luganville to Mota Lava Flight.  
Luganville to Mota Lava Flight
Luganville to Mota Lava Flight with me in the back and Katie in the row in front of me.
Luganville to Mota Lava Flight
Luganville to Mota Lava FlightLuganville to Mota Lava Flight.  I liked the quote on the engine housing of the plane.Luganville to Mota Lava Flight.Landing on Mota Lava's grass runway.Mota Lava's grass runway.Our plane on Mota Lava's grass runway.Our crew next to the plane.  From left to right, Mel, me, Tom, and Katie.The Mota Lava airport, such as it is.The plane on Mota Lava's grass runway.The pickup (only vehicle on the island) that is taking us from the air strip to the beach about 3 miles away.Road heading to the beach.Road heading to the beach.Road heading to the beach through the village.Road heading to the beach through the village.Road heading to the beach through the village.Road heading to the beach through the village.Road heading to the beach through the village.The beach just outside village.We were able to talk one of the villagers to take us and our bags out to Mariner IV on his fishing boat so we wouldn't have to make several trips in the dinghy.Mariner IV anchored in the bay about a hundred yards out from the shore.Dennis and his friend Judy boarding the fishing boat to be taken back to the air strip.  Dennis owns the sailboat but doesn't do the crossings.  He just comes and uses the boat at each of the locations.We've hoisted the anchor and are under heading back to Port Vila.  We are passing Santa Maria Island.Mota Lava to Epi Island, our first stop.Mota Lava to Epi IslandOur arrival at Lamen Bay, Epi Island.Lamen Bay, Epi Island.  It's surprising to see other boats here.  There are so few on the outer islands.The village at Lamen Bay, Epi IslandWe spent about 5 hours at Lamen Bay, Epi Island, long enough for some snorkeling and dinner.  We then sailed through the night so that we would arrive at the fuel dock in Port Vila about the time they opened.Me standing in front of Mariner IV on the fuel dock at Port Vila.Mele Bay, Port VilaShot of the docks of one of the dive companies.  It was next to the fuel docks and only a few hundred yards from where we med moored the boat.Med Moored to Yachting World Sea WallMele Bay, Port Vila, with Iririki Island in the background.Med Moored at Yachting World Seal Wall.Port Vila Farmer's MarketWaterfront Grill, Port Vila.  About 50 feet from the boat and great food.Waterfront Grill, Port Vila.  You can see the boats on the sea wall in the background.Waterfront Grill, Port Vila.  Katie having a Tusker, the local brew.Downtown Port Vila.  The men are playing a game much like bacci ball.
Tom, Katie, Mel & I at Waterfront Grill.  Our last dinner out as we left Port Vila about midnight that evening heading south.Port Vila to Dillon Bay, ErromangoMe relaxing in the cockpit on the passage from Port Vila to Dillon Bay, ErromangoArriving at Dillon Bay, ErromangoArriving at Dillon Bay, ErromangoDillon Bay, ErromangoTom hanging out in the cockpit at Dillon Bay, ErromangoMel & I going ashore at Dillon BayHeading up the river in the dinghy to get to the village.Heading up the river in the dinghy to get to the village.Heading up the river in the dinghy to get to the village.Dillon Bay VillageDillon Bay VillageDillon Bay VillageDillon Bay VillageSchool Yard, Dillon Bay VillageInside one of the classroomsMel standing with several of the school children outside the classroom.Dillon Bay VillageDillon Bay Village.  Two young boys naturally posing along the river.Dillon Bay VillageFrom Dillon Bay Village looking toward the river mouth and where Mariner IV is anchored.Heading back to Mariner IVHeading back to Mariner IVHeading back to Mariner IVExperiencing Heavy Seas, Dillon Bay to AnatomExperiencing Heavy Seas, Dillon Bay to AnatomProtected Bay, South Anatom.  After heavy winds and seas, we finally get a break from the seas.
Protected Bay, South Anatom.  The weather was so bad the local villagers didn't come out to greet us and we didn't go ashore to see them.  We stayed the night and headed out the next morning for New Caledonia.Protected Bay, South AnatomIsle of Pines at the southern end of New Caledoniasle of Pines at the southern end of New CaledoniaIsle of Pines at the southern end of New CaledoniaIsle of Pines at the southern end of New CaledoniaIsle of Pines at the southern end of New Caledonia.  We arrived mid day, spent the night and left at about 4 a.m. so that we would arrive at the reef system we had to pass through at daylight.Approachng Noumea, the capital of New CaledoniaNoumea, New CaledoniaNoumea, New CaledoniaNoumea, New CaledoniaNoumea, New CaledoniaNoumea, New CaledoniaNoumea, New CaledoniaNoumea, New CaledoniaLeaving Noumea, New Caledonia.  We were only there for 2 days and it rained both days.  I was going to try and do some diving, but no dive boats were going out.  As you can see the see the weather cleared for our crossing to Australia.Leaving Noumea, New CaledoniaLeaving Noumea, New CaledoniaLeaving Noumea, New CaledoniaCatching Tuna, Noumea to Bundaberg.  Our first catch of the trip about 8 miles off the coast of Noumea.Noumea to Bundaberg, Australia.  Great weather and we were able to fly the spinnaker.Noumea to Bundaberg, AustraliaNoumea to Bundaberg, AustraliaNoumea to Bundaberg, AustraliaNoumea to Bundaberg, Australia.  The crossing took 8 days and we had great wind and weather through the whole crossing.Noumea to Bundaberg, AustraliaNoumea to Bundaberg, AustraliaNoumea to Bundaberg, Australia.  Here we're enjoying a nice dinner Katie prepared from the tuna we caught.Noumea to Bundaberg, Australia.  Our last beautiful sunset before arriving.Land ho, our first sight of Bundaberg, AustraliaBundaberg, AustraliaThe marina in Bundaberg, Australia where Mel and I will depart the boat, although I did stay an additional 5 days to do some diving and exploring.Bundaberg Port MarinaDowntown BundabergDowntown BundabergWhen we left New Caledonia we joined a cruiser's ralley that ended in Bundaberg.  Here we are enjoying one of the many parties put on at the marina.A marina in Downtown BundabergSunset over the marina.The Bundaberg Rum distillery.  We did a tour of the distillery and sampled their libations.  They make a great rum butter spread.  I should have brought more back with me since they don’t export outside of Australia.We did a day trip to Bagara, Australia.  I did a dive trip from here and thought we would check it out.  Not much there though.Here is a children's playground in Bagara.  Notice it is shaped like a turtle.Bundaberg Port MarinaMy last sunset at Bundaberg Port Marina.  I left via Greyhound Bus at midnight to get to Brisbane the next morning for my flight out.A shot of my plane that takes me back to LA and brings an end to a fantastic adventure.