The World ARC fleet have spent the last few days with the locals on the remote Vanuatu island of Tanna. The island is probably the least developed place which the World ARC route visits, at least as a fleet, and the huge difference between the background of these two groups of people is evident but certainly not a barrier. The enthusiastic mixing of the two communities was an intense experience and one that will probably remain a highlight for all the crew members involved. During their stay the crews visited a kastom village for a traditional welcome dance, climbed the very active Mount Yasur volcano and exchanged gift with the local community before enjoying a feast of local food which they provided.
The community of Port Resolution, on the south east side of Tanna, are happy, content and extremely welcoming. From walking ashore to complete international clearances at the Port Resolution Yacht Club and later on in the nearby village, the World ARC participants were fondly greeted as they explored the island for the 3 days of their visit.
During their stay, the crews also went on the World ARC tour to a local kastom village, to be welcomed by dance and song, before taking a 4x4 truck journey up the Mount Yasur volcano. This trip, which arrives at the crater edge just before darkness, is a fabulous experience. Rarely anywhere else in the world is it possible to experience the rumble and explosion of volcanic activity at such a close distance.
The programme in Tanna ended yesterday with a day of shared experience for the fleet and the villagers. Having done their own kastom dance, the local community led a procession up to the yacht club, where there was a formal exchange of gifts. The World ARC crews brought gifts of clothing, school books and domestic items and the villagers returned with necklaces, palm leaf hats, woven bags and baskets of fruit and vegetables.
The crews got together later in the day to enjoy a feast which was prepared by the village. It was also the time to say goodbye to the crews of two boats who leave the Rally in Tanna; Serendipity and Glamorous Galah. Following a wonderful farewell speech from ‘the Galahs’, other crews sang ‘farewell’ to both boats, with adapted lyrics to the song ‘She’ll be coming around the mountain…’
The crews have several days to make their way to Port Vila on the island of Efate, where they’ll enjoy another full programme of activities whilst preparing to depart to Mackay, Australia next Thursday.