SV Ah Ma

A week in Esperitu de Santo

Santo, an island of contrasts, where the natural beauty of the Segond Channel’s might clashes with the bureaucratic intricacies of its ports. Customs here paint a picture of a land caught between tradition and regulation. Amid the resilient moorings and vibrant dive clubs, the administrative hurdles at the customs office, especially during check-ins and check-outs, stand as a paradox to the island’s otherwise warm and welcoming ambiance.

The customs process reflects the island’s duality—the warmth of its people in contrast with the rigidity of protocols. The clash between the free-spirited nature of the surroundings and the stringent guidelines in the administrative offices creates a unique, albeit challenging, experience for travelers and sailors navigating through Santo’s waters.

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Vanuatu, Tanna to Santo

Sailing the Vanuatu waters for 20 days, our crew has diminished, leaving Ben and me as the remaining sailors. A German crew member is set to join us for the Indonesian passage, while our initial crew’s captain, Chris, is held up in Port Vila awaiting boat repairs.

Our arrival at Tanna on May 30th after a week at sea was a relief. After promptly attempting to make contact with customs, we resorted to the protocol by going ashore. Amid navigating the reef, a helpful fisherman securely moored our dinghy, and we located the customs officials at the market.

After a swift thirty-minute process, we returned to the market for a local meal. Instead of staying, we opted to sail to Eromango, reaching the island after dark and anchoring for the night.

At Eromango, we experienced a rather misleading village tour and a less-than-satisfactory interaction with David, who unexpectedly requested items from us. Subsequent stops in Port Vila and beyond included encountering the challenges of an inadequate road trip and seeking refuge at Havannah Bay.

A warm dinner at the resort and a cozy gathering of fellow travelers provided a much-needed break. Yet, issues with our new crew member persisted, compelling us to make more stops, leading to further adventures, and bidding farewell to our crew and setting sail for Espiritu Santo, where we’ll reorganize before our next voyage north.

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Happy New Year from Opua

Happy new year followers and friends. It has been a long while since I wrote last. Spotty internet connection and a to do list as long as my left leg prevented me from taking the time. But now with most chores done and a shiny Starlink dish on the port[…]

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The long way to New Zealand

Travel used to be fun and games. but in 2022, it has been reduced to anxiety and annoyance. Normally we planned trips a couple of weeks or sometimes days in advance. With Macau having a great and small regional airport we could easily arrive about 40 minutes in advance for[…]

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