Three Antares 44is in Vanuatu!

And Then There Were Three…Antares, that is, in Tanna.

World ARC Boats...and Field Trip...
Usually, we do whatever we can to avoid sharing an anchorage with a crowd of boats, but this time we didn’t want to miss it. The World Arc Rally would be swarming into Port Resolution, and we wanted to make it there to see two of Field Trip’s siblings - SV Krystal and SV Two Fish.

The two boats had crossed the Pacific this season, hopping from one island to the next on a sprint of scheduled stops. Vanuatu would be one of their final stops on the track to Australia. It made me tired just hearing about how many miles they’d traveled in such a short time.  In total, there are 5 Antares 44i boats (Field Trip, Rehua, Whistler, Krystal, Two Fish) in the South Pacific this season.  That is a record!

Last time we’d seen Jason and Gail (Two Fish) was three years ago when we sailed through New York. They’d hosted a dinner for us in their Manhattan apartment and were excited at the time to be preparing for their trip to Argentina to start their own Antares journey. At that time, they weren’t sure what their plans were, and I was thrilled that they’d found the courage to embark upon the Pacific. Gail told me that my blog post about provisioning in the Galapagos and the meal schedule we posted for our 3-week trip helped her feel like she could figure it out. Seeing as I haven’t posted a blog in a while, her little confession gave me a newfound boost of confidence to get back to writing.

We had never actually met Teo and Susan on Krystal, but Mark had corresponded with them quite a bit online. Since they are from Malaysia, I was anxious to get a chance to pick their brains about, seeing as it is on Field Trip’s itinerary somewhere down the line. Although we only had a few hours together, their enthusiasm and detail of the beauty and friendliness of Malaysia absolutely intrigued me. I had concerns about traveling where the culture is so different from our own and asked them a million questions. However, they assured us that we would love our time in Asia, and knowing we had our own personal hosts when we got there made me feel even more comfortable with the whole idea.

Mark talked “shop” with both of the guys - showing Teo his lithium battery set up and comparing notes on all Jason’s upgrades. Meanwhile, I talked pink stuff with the girls - cooking aboard, relationship struggles, and a sailing woman’s perspective on this whole blue water cruising thing. I was comforted by how similar our stories were and how instantly I found myself understood, knowing I’m in the company of women who can absolutely relate.

It was a strange experience to see this rally group come through Tanna. They blew in and blew out like a rich distant relative - leaving behind loads of donated goods and charity without the time to really get to know any of the people there.  The organizers had planned a ceremony in which the rally boaters would present items to the village such as clothes, school supplies, construction materials, etc. And in turn, the villagers would present the fruit and vegetables from their gardens to the yachties.  A great way to minimize the ‘gimme, gimme’ syndrome while also contributing necessary items to the local community.

Just for fun, we pulled out some little prank paraphernalia that we’d picked up in NZ and went for a late night recon mission. The kids slipped up onto Two Fish while they were still at the Tanna Yacht Club and mischievously placed a rubber cockroach on the cockpit table and a trail of plastic ants near the power winch by the salon door. Just thinking of the squeals of terror coming from Gail got us all giggling uncontrollably.

The next morning, Gail called on the VHF. She replayed the bug sighting as it had happened the night before, and we all felt like our prank had been a success. She said we could come back to reclaim our bugs, so we hopped in the dink and set off. As we stepped aboard, it was Gail and Jason who got the last laugh! They had set up quite the murder scene, with the roach turned belly up and jabbed with a bloodied toothpick!! They’d killed the plastic pest! Touché!


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