I was fortunate enough to happen upon Claire and Justin from Vanuatu Yacht Services soon after I arrived in Port Vila.
I actually arrived by plane several days ahead of Alive (a 66ft canting keel reichel pugh racing yacht) and her 16 person crew as they completed the Melbourne to Vanuatu yacht race. My daunting task was to prepare all the things needs to get a Grand Prix racer and her large crew through customs, through quarantine, fed, accommodated, and prepared for the return journey as well as a organise a large function to celebrate the completion of the race. I had no idea how big a task I had set myself!
Fortunately I found Claire and Justin almost by accident but who proved to be absolutely fantastic.
I can not recommend them highly enough. They solved every single problem associated with a race boat and her large crew without even missing a beat.
To start, the clearance in and out of the country was smooth despite the Sunday arrival and Sunday departure (anyone who knows Vanuatu will know that this is a small miracle)!
Justin found us berthage (quite difficult for 4.5m draft) and water transport while Claire organised land transport, caterers, equipment and food. No request was too big or too small, and all of this in advance of the boat arriving and all at very short notice and no warning!
Justin through Port Vila Boat Services also arranged to have the boat cleaned thoroughly both inside and out, as well as all of the wet weather gear and berth cushions, which certainly made our trip home much more palatable.
I thoroughly recommend Justin, Claire, their staff, Vanuatu Yacht Services and Port Vila boat yard.
From my very first email from Justin I realized I was in good hands in regards to any yacht services I may need whilst in Vanuatu and points beyond, as we know Justin is a master mariner who has traveled the world extensively with superyachts for many years before settling on the tranquil Vanuatu archipelago. He knows exactly what a superyacht may need whilst in a new port.
Clearance was made easy by Justin’s knowledge of the formal procedures. He even brought the officers to the yacht which was anchored in the quarantine area.
Claire was so knowledgeable with provisioning on the island, which is not a simple one stop shop, we would have suffered severely without her help.
They are both just lovely people to deal with. “With their nothing is a problem attitude, it really made our months stay with guests aboard just a wonderful experience.”
Captain Mark Gallaway 10/03/2014
This review just in from Robert who spent 2 weeks aboard Rendezvous with Errol and the Crew.
Hello Errol, Helen and Nixon,
Where do I start and how does one say thank you for such an extraordinary experience.
Nixon, you never stopped swabbing the decks, cleaning the galley, capturing the fish and introducing us to your girl friends on each island and then arranged a wedding for Steve and Donna which joined our two families forever with only a moments notice.
A chief in the making!
Helen, you danced around the rolling deck with glasses of wine and plates of food and never spilt a drop. Tended to injuries and made nipples stand to attention whilst quietly serving all our needs.
A captain of our hearts!!
Errol, forever watchful with safety first but lenient to allow us space to play. Resourceful, commanding and a master mariner and fisherman. Without your people skills a mutiny would have been possible but you massaged our male egos, charmed the girls and blended a crew and passengers to enjoy a passage of adventure and happiness that will be never forgotten. The culinary delights that flowed from the galley continue to amaze us all.
A chef and captain extraordinary!!!
A very big thank you,
Robert and passengers.
VYS took great care of us on the Swan 70 MANU during April / May 2011. As an ex super yacht Captain with a wide range of local contacts established during his family’s long term residence in Vanuatu, Justin was extremely well organized and easily able to anticipate our needs. He dealt with all entry and departure formalities, at anchor fuel requirements, airport transfers, as well as providing us with invaluable local knowledge and suggestions for our cruising itinerary.
He connected us with the right people throughout the islands so that we were able to enjoy some of the vast range of unique activities on offer in Vanuatu.
Justin’s wife Claire also provided useful pointers with provisioning whilst in Efate and saved us a huge amount of time and effort in stocking the boat.
During out cruise we also had a potentially very serious medical emergency with one of our guests. One call to Justin and the situation was quickly brought under control which was a huge relief to me whilst operating in a strange and remote place.
In short, VYS played a major role in helping us to provide the owner and guests with what will go down for them as one of the most memorable cruises they have ever enjoyed on the boat. If I ever find myself in Vanuatu again, my first call will be to Justin.
Captain S/Y MANU