SAILAWAY CRUISES offers a full day cruise on its 42 ft sailing trimaran GOLDEN WING from its Havannah Harbour boat base. The priorities on the day are to enjoy sailing between 3 of the top snorkel or dive sites within the UNESCO World Heritage Site area bounded by Lelepa & Hat islands and Mangaliliu village. The idea is to have a fun water-sports day in a casual ambiance, for people of all ages. A sense of adventure and humour helps, as we have our Fawlty-Towers-in-Paradise moments. But safe, as we haven’t lost anyone overboard in over 30 years of operations and no divers bent.
General Itinerary, dependent on weather and seas of the day:
Bus pickups from Vila hotels start at 8am & return about 5.30pm.
It’s a 40 minute scenic drive over the mountain range to our mini-marina base in Havannah Harbour. Set sail around 9.15am for Hat Island or Turtle Reef and have morning tea on the 1 hour sail.
10.30am stop for snorkelling or scuba diving on some of the healthiest coral reefs to be found in the South Pacific.
11.30am we motor to a calm bay for lunch on board. Three Survivor-type film series were staged here, due to its remoteness & natural beauty.
After lunch, you can go walkabout ashore or snorkel around the bay.
1.30pm its off to Paul’s Rock seamount, 10 minutes away. The reef is only 2 metres deep dropping away to 500 metres, so most interesting for snorkellers or divers. It has a local tabu on fishing so is effectively a marine reserve and the multitudes of fish & turtles know it. Friendliest lot of fish you’ll find anywhere, as they don’t fear *man the predator*.
3pm we set sail for the 1.2 hour return to Base with afternoon tea on the way. Time for animated conversations or contemplation, depending on personalities or how much energy has been expended during the day.
4.30pm disembark and bus back to Port Vila.
A few things to note:
1. When raining in Vila, it is usually fine in Havannah Harbour.
2. There is an awning over the top deck for sun & rain protection. For heavier showers, people can go sit down inside this ex-cruising yacht, which has galley, dining area, beds and one marine toilet.
3. The snorkelling waters are exceptionally clear with often 50 metre Vis., little current and are warm - 25 deg (Aug) - 30 deg C. (Feb). Bring a rashee or extra T-shirt for snorkelling and your own towels.
4. The North-West Efate area offers protected calm-water sailing most of the year. When the seas are a bit choppy around Hat Island, we instead visit the more-protected Turtle Reef for our first stop.
5. We aim for smaller passenger numbers, so around 6 to 10 per day and maybe only 2 cruises a week, depending on demand at the time. Min 4 adult pax and max 24 pax.
6. This cruise is popular with people of all ages, from infants to grannies. If you don’t snorkel, then bring a book to read, lay-back & casually watch the antics of the others.
7. Bookings are best made by email or phone and just pay on the day in Vatu, AUD or NZD.
8. Scuba diving is an optional extra, for qualified divers only. See the section of this website under EXPERIENCES, under SCUBA DIVING.
9. Lunch comprises a number of fresh salads, sliced cold meats, boiled eggs, batard bread rolls and cheese. Healthy & filling to keep your strength up for the day.