Tuvalu, Funafuti Atoll
Tuvalu, Funafuti Atol.
This is a small nation consisting of nine islands, atolls. No level on the islands exceeds 5 m, so the feared global warming is of great concern, since it may flood the whole nation. We visited the main island on Funafuti, which is only the eastern rim of an atoll. During WW2 it was occupied by the Americans, and they built a quite long air strip on the best soil of the island, Today the capitol is therefore split in two by this air strip. People use it for many purposes and even sleep on it during the hot nights. 20 min. before an aircraft is going to start or land a siren is activated, and the inhabitants will leave the runway. No big fuss, it seems to work well. There was not much activity going on, and it seemed as if the main income was aid and licences for granting fishing rights to Taiwan. Taiwan has built a nice and relatively big government building to Tuvalu, and the two nations are obviously in close cooperation. This was to be seen when Tuvalu celebrated their two national holidays. We were anchored inside the big atoll, when the Tsunami hit Samoa and Tonga, but we did not recognize anything.
Pacific passage from Tuvalu to Vanuatu
This passage was difficult because the wind came right aft with only 4 – 15 knots, and we had many heavy rain showers on the way. Due to the swell we had to motor for approx 35 hours. The 836 miles was done in five and a half days. This was another voyage where no other ships mere met.
We made landfall in Luganville, Espiritu Santo.
On the way another under water earth quake was detected 500 Nm North West of us, and a Tsunami warning was given for Vanuatu. When at sea a Tsunami is not dangerous, and we did not notice anything. After arriving in Vanuatu we were informed, that nothing had actually happened in Vanuatu.