Running westwards before the southeast tradewinds we will head for Pt Vila, the capital at the southern end of the Vanuatu group. Sailing downwind, this will give a taste of the beauty and freedom of an ocean passage and we will all be involved with the watch system, helping steer the ship and handle the sails and keep lookout.
The transit time from Fiji, depending on the winds will be 3 to 5 days and this will allow us to spend a few days sailing north through the fascinating islands of central Vanuatu.
We have found so many 'favourite places' in Vanuatu during our voyaging here that choosing a route can be difficult... The serene anchorage at Pt Havana makes a great overnight stop at Efate.
There are choices of a visit to a custom village on Malakula, or a call at the small communities of the Mescalyne islands.
At anchor at Epi, if we're lucky, we may swim with the tame dugong there, or at Ambrym make a jungle trek inland to a traditional custom village.
This voyage will finish at Luganville, Santo which was the main American base during WW2 and is a short internal flight to the capital Port Vila with its international air connection.
Vanuatu is a Malaria Risk Area so insect repellent is vital and it is recommended that you check with your own doctor for the requirements this area whether malaria medication is necessary or suitable for you.
On arriving onboard you will be shown your berths, introduced to the crew, and signed on Ship's Articles as Voyage Crew members. Much of the first morning will be spent introducing you to the ship and explaining the various routines, safety procedures and equipment and how the watch system works.
During the short sea passage from Fiji to Vanuatu the ship is sailing 24 hours a day and as voyage crew you will stand deck watches and work within a normal 4 hours on / 8 hours off watch system.
Our sailing between anchorages in the island groups may involve some motoring but also some quite intense sail handling. However this allows those who would rather relish the amazing scenery to stand back and let the keener sailors get involved in handling the ship under sail. Everyone is involved in the duty watch system as Voyage Crew which will operate while we are under way and you may have your turn at the helm, on bow lookout or helping trim sail or help tack ship. Going aloft is a unique experience but is not compulsory and everyone can decide when or if theyd like to. People of all ages join us and many have never sailed before - previous experience is certainly not necessary.
There are 13 permanent crew who maintain and sail the ship who are there to assist and help you enjoy your time aboard. Once we drop anchor the deck watch is undertaken by the permanent crew and you the Voyage Crew are free to explore ashore.