We had to be up early this morning to exit the marina a couple of hours before low water when a sand bar would have impeded our passage. Several boats with deeper drafts were also doing the same thing, some reanchoring in the bay to await the official start of the race at 10.00, others heading straight off to make the most of the good winds. We decided to head off too, meaning immediate disqualification from this leg of the race but with the winds forecast to die down over the next couple of days it seemed too good an opportunity to miss. We're currently flying along at around 8 knots speed over ground with double-reefed sails ... we'll be in Vanuatu in no time if it stays like this! Great sailing.
Vanuatu sounds as though it will be fascinating. We make landfall in Port Resolution on Tanna, an island with two active volcanoes. It looks like Paul will finally get to see an erupting volcano as the World ARC organise a tour to it for us. The locals also host a feast for us where gifts are exchanged, a real cultural experience. Friends who have done the rally before said it was one of the highlights for them.
Vanuatu has a high risk of malaria so we will start taking medication two days before we are due to arrive, not something we like doing but the sensible option. Being a poor country we gather the communication systems are not great so we may not be able to post anything else until we arrive in Australia but we'll try our best. So all for now!