Soon to Leave, Supplies Loaded

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August 4th 2008
Published: August 5th 2008
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Crack team of SpecialistsCrack team of SpecialistsCrack team of Specialists

Here's Aiden, Mark and myself. Some are specialists. Some are just cracked.
August 4th, 2008
Port Vila Harbor

The past few weeks in Port Vila have been quite an adventure in logistics. After arriving so much earlier than planned, I had some time to survey they scene before diving headlong into purchasing supplies. The time proved to be invaluable.

Most of the industrial supply shops here in town sell the same general items for about the same general prices. Certain stores have certain specialty items, so hunting for what you need takes a lot of trips to a lot of places. In the first week of our time here I must have met with a dozen store managers from a dozen different shops. In the end, it was all worth it.

The shop owners and managers all seemed pleased to help out with our project. Some offered advice, and most offered monetary discounts. I’d like to thank Ben Sands from Port Vila Agricultural Supply, Scott Ritchie from Trade Base Plumbing Supply, and of course Jacko from Wilco Hardwarwe.

By an amazing stroke of luck Wilco Hardware decided to do a 20% Off sale for all items storewide during the week of Independence Day celebrations. Since I happened to be
Kids in a candy storeKids in a candy storeKids in a candy store

So many fittings, so little storage space
in the right place at the right time, Project MARC really got to cash in. Had it not been for the week of pricing I would have missed the opportunity.

Also while here in Vila, plans for the water restoration have changed. Instead of replacing the destroyed water cistern with a series of barrels we will build a small dam in the existing stream for water catchments and filtration. Mark Nolan, one of the project specialists, turned me away from the barrel daisy chain system I had originally planned. He has solid arguments against the barrels and for the dam system, plus a lot more experience in the field. The chief argument is that the barrel system allows a lot of opportunities for things to break or go wrong. The dam system is a simpler design with less need for maintenance or opportunity for failure. I naturally defered to Mark’s experience as he reminded me to “Keep it simple, stupid.”

The Crew of the Alvei is also looking to be and amazing asset. The expedition to Banem Bay looks to accomplish much more than mere restoration of the water system. We’ll also be completing a yacht club/trading post
Far from Kentucky, but still gettin' lucky.Far from Kentucky, but still gettin' lucky.Far from Kentucky, but still gettin' lucky.

Here's the Independence Day discount. We lucked out.
for the communities to use when dealing with visiting yachts. Hopefully the trading post will help to attract more of the sailing community to the Banem Bay area and stimulate the economy here a bit.

I also hope to interact with the schools again once we reach Banem Bay. Sanusup Elementary School was very grateful of the assistance they received last year, and I’m sure that they would appreciate any help that we could give this year. We’ll just have to see what shape that aid takes this year. As always, we’re ready to adapt to the needs of the community.

As for our departure date, it has been pushed back to the limit. We now plan to leave with in a day or two. Our container from the states has been delayed, re-routed, sent to the wrong counties, held up in foreign customs, etc… The original plan was to have the container delivered to Fiji two months ago, but that just didn’t happen and so we adapted. We were also once planning to leave for Malekula on August 1st so once again we adapted. Plans were made to be amended in Vanuatu. Things operate here as though
To Gate Valve, or not to Gate Valve...To Gate Valve, or not to Gate Valve...To Gate Valve, or not to Gate Valve...

The deep questions of the project usually hit us around 2:30 in the afternoon.
you’re in a different world. If you’re not flexible here in the frontier, you’ll get swallowed alive.

Additional photos below
Photos: 10, Displayed: 10


Pipe DreamsPipe Dreams
Pipe Dreams

I'd really like to get a tank like this for next year, to fully replace the destroyed cistern. The cost of transporting this baby would about three time the cost of the tank itself.
Finally gettin' the goods.Finally gettin' the goods.
Finally gettin' the goods.

Henk and Nellecke signing for their share of the goods
Loading, loading, loadingLoading, loading, loading
Loading, loading, loading

So we moved about 2400 kilos of cement (5280 lbs). Then we moved it all again, and again, and again...
And then there was loading...And then there was loading...
And then there was loading...

So after we moved it all off the truck, we shucked it all into the shore boat.
And after that, loading...And after that, loading...
And after that, loading...

It took a dozen trips, and at the end of each trip there was more loading. Shown here: Shore boat to Ship Deck.
The last stepThe last step
The last step

The final leg of the cement relay was from the ship's deck into the Saloon for stowing. The stairs made this part fun!

25th August 2008

Still alive...
1. Your images be fried. 2. You never did get me an address to ship Spaced. 3. Ira just took a job as the Attorney General for Micronesia. He'll be based out of Pohnpei for the next year. He flies out of here Thursday the 28th. You should look him up. 4. Post more. :-) Fair sailing my friend.

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