Well, I talked about it a few month's ago, but it seems it is about to happen.
I'm heading off to Vanuatu on a mates 45 ft Cray boat stopping at Chesterfield reef, the top of New-Caledonia and the finish will be the 4 day fishing stop at Sabine shoals near Espiritu Santo at Vanuatu.
We are loading up with 2000 kg of ice in Brisbane, and we'll stop in and get 2000 kg of pelagic at Sabine shoal with a buyer waiting when we arrive.
He is bringing one of his Islander Employees with us to do the grunt, and get the crays as he is letting me pick all the stop off point's that I have wanted to get back out to.
All this at no cost to me, infact a cut of the catch is more likely, and definetly a bit of free time at the resort that his boatbuilding facility is attached to.
Then he comes back to Bris to finish of the 45 ft alloy powercat that he is building and I get to do the trip again in a few month's.
Well ordered the 2500 kg of ice and a Mr. Funnel from Australian mercury dealers for about $70-00 for the 15 gallon/minute model.
Spoke to the met boy's in Rockhampton [ Rocky Met ] who have said look out for a low that may form off the eastern end pf P.N.G. at the end of the week that may turn cyclonic and head S.E toward's New Caledonia, so we'll wait untill then.
Just as well, still waiting on an email fromm Australian Custom's giving us additional details on getting a Vanuatan registered Vessel out of the country.
Maybe they need 96 hours to answer questions as well
Still waiting on the email from the custom's guy's for getting the bodies out of the country, 2 day's now and many phone call's, and still trying to get info about the saving on tax for fuel for foreign registered vessel's.
You'd think we were the first boat to leave OZ, spent most of the day sending email's, speaking to message bank, or speaking to people that don't know the answers to my question's, but we'll get someone to call you back.........................still waiting.
The guy that handled getting the boat out of the country was very proffesional, and yes, he work's for custom's, but only boat's , not bodies.
A few instant email's back and forth from my place, Vanuatu and his office and the boat can go, but we can't.
The left hand does'nt know what the right hand is doing.
The rough probability of being hit by something really nasty is high.
There would appear to be between one and six cyclones each year in the area through which you are planning to travel.
I do not have accurate data but it would appear that two cyclones might be average for each year.
If you are at sea for a month of a four month cyclone season then a rough (very) calculation would suggest that you have a 1 in 2 chance of a very unpleasant experience.
Other members with more experience in this area are welcome to correct me.
Have you left yet or are you just "pulling our chain"
If you don't come back can I have your boat
Still hanging around, Can't clear out with Custom's until we get Ownership and Registration papers from Vanuatu.
Apparently we are working on Vanuatu time and we should get them Monday.
Can't rush these thing's
Work's well for me, as I did not want to go until I knew what that possible Cyclone was doing.
Like Chris implied, it is not the best time of year to be going, and i'll certainly be pulling the pin if the weather window is not right.
And sure Beau, you can have the boat...............for the right amount of $$$$$$$ .
My mate still want's me to get her over there to compliment his other vessel's, so this will be a good opportunity to see if the lifestyle and the $$$ are as good as he say's.
But there is no way she'll have 50 people on the deck and pig's and chicken's in the cockpit doing inter Island work, she'll be strictly champagne cruises for the rich tourist types moving in the right weather and direction.
This year will be our 8th season in Vanuatu, where we run a flotilla of 4-8 volunteer cruising vessels that assist Project MARC in the "dry season" (May-October) each year.
Chris's estimate is about right, I think, although the current modest El Nino cycle may tend to temporarily lower the cyclone risk a bit. March is still very much cyclone season but in April the risk tapers off quite a bit.
What makes the cyclones here tricky is that some may spawn very close by. Although the ones that spawn nearby are unlikely to be fully developed in strength; they also give you less warning time, alas.
A little know fact, however, is that Vanuatu has one of the best cyclone holes in all of the Pacific, namely Port Sandwich on the SE coast of Malekula. The area is remote but the long bay has hills on all sides and a pronounced dog leg. When our largest vessel SV Alvei was surprised by an unseasonally early cyclone in November last year, just before its planned departure to Australia we took refuge there, together wioth a small armada of cruisers and local vessels.
One more thing: if you are fishing commercially in Vanuatu it is indeed important to have all the paperwork in order. Even then, one may need special permission from the local landowner if the reef one want to fish on is close to the coast. Local fishermen get quite upset with trespassers and every year there are a couple of illegal fishing Taiwanese, Korean or Chinese fishing vessels snatched by Australian or NZ patrol vessels (presumably after being alerted by those local fishing vessels).
Thank's for that FD, we should be OK on the fishing thing, the boat is Vanuatan registered and owned , the skipper is a citizen, one of the crew is local and a fisherman, and these shoal's are just off the island where they live.
It is a licensed fishing vessel, so I reckon everything would be in place.
Well it would seem we are out on hold for a bit longer. I have to say I feel pretty good about it as I was never super happy about going this time of year, and apparently there are 3 low's hanging around and one possibly appearing mid week right in our path.
The BOM have picked a name for her, so they must think she's a 'go'er, so the owner is talking about going back to Vanuatu for a while and leaving the boat with me [cool] and even suggested I could bugger off for a holiday on it.
I think it would be rude not to.
So the pressure is off, and I'll sit back and wait for a bit.
When you get to Venuatu let me know if you run into an Alan Briety. He used to live in WA but took up residency perhaps 15 years back - also took out a WA Cray Boat -and his old work was within civil enginnering and suspect he's still at it.
If he's there - I'd love to get contact details. Tell him John and Sue Allison now in UK but ex Freo Sailing Club.
Cheers and good luck with the trip over