Maskelyn Islands

The crossing to the Maskelyne archipeligo off Malekula island goes well. Good wind and no one ill. The arrival was dodgy however.

There is a bit of a bay and we could see the village. But as we entered the bay it became very shallow. Spill the Wine draws six and a half feet and I was reading 8 feet on the depth sounder when we decided it was time to turn around. Our rudder scraped on something as we made our turn, so ya, shallow.

We exited and turned the corner looking for another bay to anchor in. it’s about 4 pm. It will be dark soon and we need to find a place to park Spill The Wine. Maybe 15 kts of wind and water choppy. Less than ideal for anchoring.

I have hoisted Kat up the mast so that she can get a bird’s eye view of the water looking for comfortable depth. I think it’s her favorite place on the boat. She reports that there is a small fishing canoe pursuing us.

One of the men from the village has come out to tell us that indeed we were almost in the anchorage and we just needed to go a little bit further. Martin offers to show us the way.

A bit of a leap of faith here but we decide to trust local knowledge. We follow Martin through the pass and he was right. It once again became 8ft deep and we draw 6 1/2. Aggghhh! But then it went to 30 feet and we can anchor quite nicely.

I put the dinghy together and went to shore quickly to thank Martin for his help with our passage. He invites us to shore the next day for a tour of the village.

The next morning we wake to find Pirates in the anchorage.

They look friendly so I invite them aboard. This thing with the hand signs is all over the South Pacific.

We go ashore for the village tour with Martin.

One of the local kids shows us how to climb trees for coconuts.

So the locals set a bad example and the siblings are sucked in!

There are wells on the island for drinking water.

Folks still collect roof water for other than drinking purposes. This we saw all over the South Pacific.

I spoke to the principal of the school. They have a large capacity water maker. He explained that the high pressure hose blew out. Asked if I’d take a look. Something broken? That’s my thing.

Nice install. Well organized. Good tool supply. Whoever did this even thought to leave behind extra high pressure hose.

And yeah that hose below looks ready to be retired.

I was able to use the sealing ferrules over again on the new hose and soon they we’re back in the water business.

New hose looks happy.

I spoke to Lynn. She’s the person that put this system in. She wants to know what the specific gravity of the various battery cells is. She is in New Zealand and wants to know ahead of time so she can get new batteries shipped in before she arrives. She says there should be a hydrometer present in the tool kit. Well maybe there was, but no longer. What to do… I don’t have a battery hydrometer. But I do have a beer hydrometer! Let’s try it.

Extracting some battery acid for testing.

And here is the result. Being a beer thermometer it’s not calibrated for battery acid. But the first photo shows the hydrometer sinking. Almost all the cells showed the hydrometer floating like in the second photo. So Lynn thought there were some dead cells and she was right. Anyway she is happy to have advance information so she can plan her next maintenance visit.

The boys got to play more soccer here. And left a couple gift balls behind. Yay!

We did eye examinations on the siblings just for fun. They passed!

We also did something Kat called the dinghy challenge.

he boys both were able to launch the dinghy from Spill The Wine, start the motor properly, run to shore, deploy the dinghy wheels, beach the dinghy, relaunch, stow the dinghy wheels, and land the dinghy on Spill The Wine’s stern. They did a fine job on all points. Nice work Lukas and Simon!

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