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Caduceus - Where has Caduceus been since World ARC 2014-15?

Caduceus, with Martin and Elizabeth Bevan on board, dropped out of the World
ARC Rally 2014-15 in Tonga in June 2014. We briefly caught up with that
Rally in Fiji, arriving in time to attend the farewell party in Musket Cove
and bid our erstwhile companions fair winds. After 12 weeks cruising and
carrying out maintenance in Fiji we sailed on to Vanuatu taking in all the
islands from Aneityum in the south via Tana, for the volcano visit,
Erromango and then on to the capital Port Vila. As we had extra time we
were able to sail on via the Maskelyne Islands and Malakula to Luganville on
Espiritu Santo before heading to rendezvous with other Rally dropouts in New
Caledonia for the passage south to New Zealand. Whilst in the Maskelyne
Islands we made contacts with a local community that subsequently lead to
our return there in 2015.

November 2014 through to May 2015, with the exception of a brief visit to
the UK for Christmas and New Year, were spent in New Zealand. Based in
Whangarei, North Island, we bought a people carrier kitted out for camping
on a buy and sell back arrangement. With this vehicle we covered some
12,000km touring both South and North Islands camping and using bach's (a NZ
system of short term holiday rentals) as the weather dictated.

Our original intention was to sail on to Australia and join the Sail
Indonesia Rally. The aftermath of Cyclone Pam which devastated large parts
of Vanuatu brought a change of plan and we returned to Vanuatu where Dr
Elizabeth was able to provide medical aid and mentoring and I, Martin,
provided logistic support and installed water gathering equipment. We also
carried a large quantity of second hand clothing, hardware and food. For
one trip we carried two 500 litre water tanks on the aft deck and half a ton
of rice in sacks on the cabin floor. In all of this work we were supported
by friends and family in the UK and a particularly generous donation from
the World Cruising Club. We briefly met World ARC 2015-16 when they passed
through Port Vila.

We left Vanuatu in early September and spent time in New Caledonia where we
were able to sort out boat problems that had crept in during the previous 4
months. It was now getting late in the season and in order to catch up with
our schedule we sailed in early October directly from New Caledonia to
Kupang in Indonesia, a quick 2,800nm leaving Australia to Port and Papua New
Guinea and East Timor to starboard. Indonesia was fascinating and whilst
our time was limited we took in the dragons of Komodo, the islands of
Sumbawa, Lombok, Bali, Indonesian Borneo and Belitung. In Kalimantan,
Borneo, we had one of the highlights of the year with a two day river boat
tip into the rainforest to see the Orangutans.

From Indonesia, we sailed across the straits to Singapore for 10 very
interesting and busy days based in the One 15 Marina. After Singapore we
passaged non-stop up the Malacca Straits, surely the busiest waterway in the
world, before stopping at Pangkor and Penang and then Langkawi. We
eventually caught up with our cruising companions on Flomaida, our sister
Amel 54, in Phuket and we spent Christmas and New Year into late January
cruising the waters between Phuket and Langkawi.

Moving on we sailed to the Maldives and cruised north to south, checking out
at the old RAF town of Gan. We were fortunate and organised enough to get a
permit to visit the British Indian Ocean Territory of Chagos. This was
possibly the highlight of our whole circumnavigation. Permits are difficult
to get and the result was that we had three fabulous weeks entirely on our
own in a tropical paradise. The somewhat difficult passage south from the
equator ended with 5 days very spirited trade wind sailing to the Mauritian
island of Rodriguez. Finally we reached Mauritius in late May 2016 where we
laid the boat up and returned to the UK. We arrived back in Mauritius in
time to launch and prepare the boat to join World ARC 2016-17 for the onward

The accompanying photograph show Caduceus on a secure mooring at Ile Boddam
in the Chagos Archipelago.


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