240 years ago, Captain James Cook saw a red glowing sky from the sea that he wanted to inspect. He arrived and anchored at a small bay in Tanna, Vanuatu. The bay he named “Port Resolution” after his vessel, the HMS Resolution…
In 2014 our boat Miramis came slowly in to the Port Resolution after seven days sailing from Tonga. This sailing trip was really jedi training for us. It began with short waves from everywhere constantly and we became tired quickly. In the second day our gennaker ripped in two in a gust from nowhere. We saw a tiny hole at the bottom of it and next second, of course Mr.Murphy visited us, 20 knot wind suddenly. It did hurt in our heart. We got the parts down on deck and cooked a good soup instead. It warmed up our body and mentality Dolphins played around us also and cheered us up!
Fifth and sixth day was no wind day… again. Miramis was rolling, and this is not so fun. You don’t know when you will arrive, or when wind come back, you only know that you don’t go forward and hope someday the wind come back so you try to find good position to lay down and take a rest. I didn´t know that it could be 0 knot wind in middle of the ocean. Water was looks like oil and I couldn´t stop thinking that we maybe arrived at an another planet. Suddenly we found rocks afloat on the water. There was many in different size. We began to catch some of them. I stood on the head of Miramis to give directions and Conny catched at the end of Miramis. Rocks coming from sea bottom, we were sailing above new born volcanos, new land. And this night we saw bioluminos alges. We started to sail again with the yellow-green shiny magical ocean. I could feel our earth
Arriving at Port Resolution, after we anchored, a man from “Port Resolution Yacht Club” named Stanley came to us in his log canoe and said hello. We asked him where the yacht club is. He told us that it is hiding in the jungle. This yacht club is the best yacht club we ever seen. So cozy and simple. We loved here from the beginning. Nature and people lives very close and always smiling. Children are running around with manchete and are so happy. There are pigs, cattles, chickens, dogs, cats and horses everywhere. A giant banyan trees are so beautiful and everybody here loves their village and their lifestyle. When we took a walk through a village everyone said hello and started to talk with us. It was so easy to getting know each other and they were happy to show us their lifestyle. No electricity, no internet but many happiness.
On the anchorage we met a New Caledonian sailing boat, Rumbling Rose, with Captain Teiki and his friends, Noémie, Isabelle, Bruno and Antoine. They are almost same age as us and were here for vacation. While they were at Port Resolution we hanged together and had a good time. We had a picnic by a lake, ate local dinner which is taro roots, yums, manioc, bananas, sweet potatoes and laplap (Vanuatu´s national dish, a doughy mix paste) with coconut cream and tasted kava at the white sand beach.
Kava drinking is a culture in Vanuatu. Some calls kava as “peace drug” because of its hallucinogen properties makes your mind happy and calm. On Tanna they do the traditional way to make kava. Men preparing roots by chewing it and then spit it out on a leaf. After that they mix the chewed paste with water and filter thorough coconuts fiber to a coconut shell. You drink everything in one time and you have to talk very quiet during a ceremony. Kava drinking is a male activity and women are not allowed to drink at the ceremony. Every village has a Nakamal (gathering place under a banyan tree) and men meet at the end of day and drink kava, talk and discus about life, community problem and everything while women cook dinner at home. When local people invited us for kava I was not allowed to join them so I stayed at local home with wives and children and helped cook, played card game to wait for Conny. (Last night in Vanuatu, they invited Conny for kava and he ended up with 4 and half kava. He almost could not walk straight but very relaxed and calm. It was fun to see 😉 ) But when we drank by the beach with team Caledonia I tasted. It looks like a dirty water and didn’t smell so much. Not so much taste but a little bit like a pepper, I mostly felt on my tongue and throat. But ambience was fantastic with wave sound and silver moon. It was nice experience.
We met Sam who are chief for village and his wife Joselin. Chief is like a justice man for a village and his word is law. Even politician have to follow when they come home. They told us history about village and took us to their spiritual places to use magic. It was very interesting to learn about their culture and we understood why they live like they live.
Maui is Joselins nephew, we helped her to send an e-mail on our satellite phone and she showed us her garden, how to cook traditional food and make basket with coconut leaf. She asked us if she and her children could come to our boat because they never been on a sailing boat. We invited them, while children saw ice age 3 we had nice time with some coffee at Miramis.
One day, we visited a village school. We met a man named Willie who worked as a teacher. We asked if we could come and see school. His class was full of 8 to 10 years old students and he had a mathematic class at the moment we visited. Classroom was made by trees and the room was full of drawings. Every student was so motivated and we got so much energy there. Willie told us that school is quit new and still need lots of things like books for library, pens and computers. We had some books, pens, a badminton set an old Hard-drive and a mobile phone to the teachers to donate. For us it was a fantastic moment to clear out a lot of things that we really never used and to see that it come in use by this fantastic people made us truly happy!!! So if u who read this, and planning to go to port resolution in Vanuatu, take with you whatever you don’t need at home. They appreciate everything. Like your old clothes, shoes, mobile and solar-panels… The chief Sam asked Conny to repair his shoes and Conny had shoemaker shop for a day. It can be good also to take some tools (read axe:).
Volcano mt. Yasur is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Maui told us that Yasur means old man and they believe that after you die, you go there. We and team Caledonia took a car together and went to volcano just before sunset. When we were near by, we could hear and feel the low sound from the mountain and see the red sky with thick smoke. There was no handrail between the fire and us. It was really amazing to be there. Now I saw how our planet began.
We had a fishing day with 4 local fishermen chosen by the village, the came aboard Miramis in the morning. I and Conny sailed and they worked the line trolling after Miramis. The Sea was very grumpy and big this day and it was a closedhauled tack all the way to Aniwa but everyone was happy and local music they played on the stereo never stopped. We got one tuna and one mahimahi. We were so impressed about their professional work. From to see fish on line to knock out of the fish just took some seconds, not like us.. We learned something about fishing this day and next day will be fish party after community work!
When community going to install water tank in the village everyone are there and help. We joined, when we came to Joselin she directly send conny to help men to dig for water hose and I stayed with her and women to cook big lunch. After work and lunch, the work leader had a speech and thanks us for fish and to help them. It was us who suppose to say thank you for everything they showed us. It became sad feeling because we knew that we had to leave here soon. They sang a song for Connys brother Jacob who getting married with his girlfriend Anna. We got tears in our eyes for these beautiful songs. Finally all the village people were standing on quae to shake hand and give hugs for us to say good bye.
Everyday has a strong color here in Tanna, Life is so beautiful. I´m sure It´ll become an unforgettable memory for us.