Rireana at anchor at Lolowai on the island of Ambae in 2017
We have been lax at updating the sailing log. We apologise. We have been more focused on the operations of the Trust than recording the life of Rireana. So set out below is a brief summary of the last two years.
In June of 2016, we sailed Rireana to Noumea in order to finish off the repairs made necessary by Cyclone Pam. We hauled out at the Neptune Boatyard in Baie de Numbo and were very lucky to find Al and Asa Chipman there who are experts in wooden boat work. Al finished the repairs and also made some upgrades to an excellent standard of workmanship. We would like to thank him and Asa for their generosity to the Trust and also to us personally. We were in Noumea for about two and a half months before sailing back to Vanuatu to continue the work of the Trust.
For the 2016/2017 cyclone season, Rireana was on her usual mooring in Port Vila harbour. Luckily there were no major cyclones and she came through safely. In May it was then back out to the islands for a “tour” of the Trust’s programmes in Epi, Malekula, the Maskelynes, Akhamb, Ambae, and Tongoa. Tongoa is an exposed anchorage and with the weather against us, we had to sail past. Lynn subsequently flew back there to attend to the work.
For the 2017/2018 cyclone season, we sailed the boat back to Noumea in December 2017 and hauled out at Neptune again where Rireana was securely lashed down. Keeping Rireana in Vanuatu during the cyclone season is difficult and not as secure as New Caledonia. We also used the opportunity presented in Noumea to ask Al and Asa to help with some more upgrades to Rireana which they again did with great results.
It is now June 2018 and we have sailed back to Vanuatu and up to the island of Espiritu Santo (commonly called just “Santo”). We often use this island as a replenishing base. This time we also have the excellent services of Pete Wederell of Total Marine Solutions who has installed a watermaker for us (as well as fixing a leaking injector pump). Pete is a long-term supporter of the Butterfly Trust and we thank him for his continued goodwill and generosity.
As to what happens now we are unsure. Rireana’s insurers have changed the rules for cyclone seasons such that she can no longer remain on a mooring but must be hauled out. We also need to rebuild the engine so we are currently looking at options. It could be here in Santo under Pete’s supervision, it could be Australia, it could be in Noumea again.