Start » Blog » Blue Gold

Blue Gold

von | Sep 9, 2023 | English, Pazifik, Vanuatu

Annika and I had WASA to ourselves again. We took a few more days to replenish supplies and to fill up our own energy levels. Then we wanted to move on, explore the other side of the island.

Supporting us in our plans, the skies cleared, and the days of recurring rain took a break. We weighed anchor early in the morning and sailed from Port-Vila once around the southwest tip of the island, Devils Point, and up into the uppermost tip of the adjoining Havannah Bay.

„Devils Point“.  – Every time I have to sail around a cape that at some point and somehow deserves to be called like that, I switch to high alert:

Once in Panama, I sailed with Hanna and Emma. It was our first sail together and we were heading back to Panama City from Costa Rica and had to round “Punta Mala”. It could have been a rhumb line sail on a single tack, but due to the strong current we tacked back and forth for hours and literally ony sailed up and down on one and the same line.

Here in Vanuatu, despite the favorable sailing weather, we suddenly found ourselves in 2-3 meter, occasionally breaking waves. We were sailing downwind and surfing the waves, which made the trip exciting, but also very fast! We learned later that we were coming around Devil Point at the best possible tide, exactly at high tide. But that was pure coincidence and there have been other ships before us that were less lucky and got shipwrecked.

Shortly after we entered Havannah Bay, a wreck at the end of the bay came visible. „Ah! It can’t be far anymore!“, we thought for quite a while. But then it turned out that we weren’t that close at all, the ship laying there was just pretty big!

The wreck on the beach was the 50-meter superyacht BLUE GOLD:

During Hurricane Pam, 2015, she was rammed by another motorboat while fighting the storm at anchor. The force of the impact, five-meter-high waves, and winds around 300km/h, caused first the starboard and shortly afterwards also the port anchor chain to break.

The small crew that was on board throughout the storm survived. The BLUE GOLD, however, was found high up on the reef of Mosso Island.

Wrecks always have a magical attraction for me! On the one hand the stories behind such a disaster! – “How did this thing end up on the reef?”.  On the other hand, simply the hope to find something useful on board.

The next morning, we set out for a little exploring mission. I had packed my backpack: water bottle and sun hat; wrenches and pliers. Before climbing aboard, however, we went ashore in the small village and asked permission! We climbed up and started exploring.

Apparently, we made a lot of noise opening and closing the heavy steel hatches. After only a short time I could hear excited voices coming towards us. A few of the locals had gathered and one of them came down to the beach. Shouting and gesticulating wildly, he asked what we were doing on his boat. He had a knife hidden in the inside of his arm

This journey is my dream! If you want to support me and keep the journey going, please feel free to invite me for a symbolic dinner!

Thank you so much!

Immediately I tried to stop him! In no case I wanted to get near the knife. Standing high on the wreckage, I shouted at him, „We’ve already told the young girl and paid admission!“, „We’ll come back later and introduce ourselves properly!“. – It helped! The man did not come any closer and after some back and forth we were allowed to continue our exploration.

Later, at close range, the man with the knife no longer made such a dangerous impression. – On the contrary! Andrew, as the boy introduced himself, is 22 years old, and has the task in the village to take care of the wreck and keep away uninvited guests. Again and again people (like me) would come and try to take things from inside the yacht. However, since a few years now, the yacht officially belongs to the village and they want to use the income from sold parts to be able to finance the salvage of the wreck.

We all went for a little walk and Andrew showed us the village. We immediately got along well and when Andrew told us that he had never been on a real, sailing sailboat, we spontaneously invited him over to come for a sail with us the next day.

Even though we were only going from one anchorage to the next, we had a blast! We weighed anchor together, we took turns steering, did a few tacks, and finally dropped anchor again. After that, Andrew drove us along the beach in his motorboat and showed us the best places to fish and make a campfire. We harvested some fresh coconuts and barbequed Andrew’s self-caught fish „vanuatustyle“ on the boat. – It was the beginning of a really good friendship!

While we were getting to know Andrew, it was also time to prepare for Anni’s departure. We organized a shuttle to the airport, Anni packed her backpack and on our last evening together, we went out for a really good meal at one of the resorts. It even included cold white wine, cheese on the gnocchi, an espresso for dessert.

For me, even though saying goodbye is almost part of everyday life in the sailing world, this one was quite difficult, and I only really became aware of it when I arrived back on the boat from the airport: No one there. No one else making noises. No reason to speak out loudly – no one else there to listen.

Anni’s flight from Vanuatu to Germany took 52 hours! That underwrites my idea about Vanuatu being about the farthest I could be away from home.

The next week, I spent mostly together with Andrew. We went fishing, cooked dinner together, made campfires, visited the garden, and helped with a few small chores around the village. This was good for me, having a friend on the side, when it got lonely on WASA! We ended up getting along so well that we traded our Island- shirts with each other and made each other promises to see each other again sometime, in a few years!

Then, once again, it was time to set sail and say „goodbye“.