Disable mouse right-click - This line is not published, it's only for ease of access to the blue gear
Malokilikili lies off the eastern coast of Malo Island, south of Espitito Santo. The population tips 50 and relies on subsistence farming.
These clear shallow waters are used heavily by the villagers to drag a net for fish each day.
The chief's name is Jimmy and he is really trying hard to improve the lifestyle of his community. To the point that his brother has been working in Australia picking fruit for the last 9 months, in an effort to get enough funds to buy the village their own long boat and 30hp motor.
We parted this day leaving Jimmy 200m of old rope, fishing line and a few hundred hooks. The smile and return gesture of a carved small plate said it all.
There is little to no tourism here and getting around is costly by land. A yacht is certainly an advantage.
Customs and tribal ways are certainly evident here. The biggest smile always greets any foreigner. The kids make their own fun with the simplest of toys. The men are always fishing with nets or spears, otherwise tending to their hillside gardens that need constant work.
Taro, Kava, sweet potato, and string beans were vegetables seen on this trip, with meats including chicken and pork in abundance.
We take a quick look at two other areas in the video.
One of the northern islands of Vanuatu, it is steeped in history from the Captain Cook days. The southern part of Pentecost Island hosts festivals that include 'land diving', part of the initiation ceremony for young men.
Behind the scenes, away from the tourist trappings, lie some extraordinary land and snorkelling opportunities. This is our take on some of these amazing finds.
Christmas Tree Worms
These brightly coloured sedentary worms (Spirobranchus giganteus) are unique in that they have feather-type appendages that spiral like a miniature Christmas tree to a peak. They are only 20-30cm long and once established on a host rock or coral, stay there for life.
Their appendages are used for breathing and collecting very small plants that float by. If they sense any form of danger, the ‘tree’ retracts into the worms’ burrow.
They have a wide variety of colours through the full-colour spectrum, some even multicoloured. An amazing creature is said to be a positive guide to the environmental quality and health of its surroundings.
Quaint spot, hidden from south-easterlies where the freshwater stream empties into the ocean. The stream water is clear, which stalls the growth of coral. The village, however, embraces all tourists.
They are working through the last two cyclones, causing major erosion and house damage. Their income is '0 - none', making donations their only way forward.
We were welcomed with open arms, leaving a touching impression.
Southern Cross Catholic School special delivery to Port Resolution Primary School. How 'giving is sharing' for this poor community.
A heart-warming must-see and a gift from mySerenity.
The community here really struggle. Being one of the last southern Vanuatu Islands, the spoils of the larger Vanuatu towns seldom reach these outer communities. Money for repair is non-existent. They rely on handouts from people like the sailing community to remain above the poverty line.
The sailing community supports this area through their yacht club, the Port Resolution Yacht Club. If you are interested in reading about the devastation of the recent two cyclones that flattened the club, I would encourage you to search Down Under Rally, who have voluntarily taken on the massive task of trying to get them back on their feet.
Corals, colour and new sites
The South Pacific beauty, in particular around New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands certainly did not disappoint. The winds were a little crazy at times, but certainly manageable.
In the start, we made a dash to Lifou and Ouvea (Loyalty Islands) and worked our way back via the east New Caledonian coast, Isle of Pines and then the west coast to Noumea.
mySerenity performed flawlessly.
Apart from the sightseeing, it was the coral that we pursued. Below is a summary of that experience.
Next is the journey to Tanna, an island of south Vanuatu.
The indigenous Melanesian inhabitants of New Caledonia (Kanaks), still maintain very strong bonds to their culture and this is a very good example.
'Chief' visitation rights are required on each island, as many of the surrounding islands are their property. Island resources are minimal, with fish, rice and yams being their staple food source.
Village of Jokin
The local chiefs oversee the local challenges of day-to-day life on these islands. The people are always happy and ready to chat.
Lifou island contains some of the most beautiful corals we have seen in the South Pacific. Whilst in the cyclone belt, areas of high cliffs protect this fragile ecosystem.
Most of our time was spent on the northern side of the island, protected from the southeasterly winds and swell.
The village of Jokin is situated 100 meters above the sea and a stiff climb to the top. After paying our respects, the chief's wife opened her small cafe and provided a beautiful dinner.
Passage to Noumea
Leaving from the Gold Coast (Australia), the passage to Noumea (New Caledonia) took 5.5 days.
The initial few days presented some challenges, but the mid and latter days were far more comfortable.
Midway through the passage, there was an unfortunate incident that resulted in surgery back in Australia.
This is that story.
James' take on a RALLY
My nephew recently joined us on a rally. He kindly put together this sneak-peek 'as he say it'.