We had heard so much about getting an up-close--and seemingly dangerously close--view of lava spewing out of Mt. Yasur that it seemed impossible that the experience could live up to the hype. It matched the hype and then some. In fact, our evening at the volcano on Tanna has surmounted our list of most memorable experiences so far in almost four years aboard.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
|Mystery Island, pre-cruise ship|
As we were leaving Fiji to head to Vanuatu, we overheard a conversation on the VHF radio between an approaching freighter and the Port Authority about a possible tsunami warning. We had cell phone service just long enough to find out that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake had hit just south of Vanuatu (the direction we were heading). We were right at the pass out of the lagoon, heading towards the ocean, which would have been a bad spot to be if a tsunami had come.
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
|Conrad at Big Bula Water Park. Photo|
courtesy of Marie-Claude Osterrath
Monday, July 18, 2016
We have spent the last couple weeks in the Great Astrolabe Reef area, which didn't make the cut during last season's visit to Fiji. The land is much greener here than up north. There is no cyclone damage and plentiful water. The main island of Kadavu, owing to its moist, well draining soil, is the source of the best yaqona (kava) in Fiji. It's a major cash crop for the folks here and the well kempt villages reflect the added income it provides. As with most of the traditional villages in Fiji, visitors (including boats) are required to present an offering of yaqona to the village chief in a ceremony called sevusevu. Ironically, the yaqona we are bringing to our recent sevusevus may have been grown in Kadavu, shipped and sold to merchants in bigger towns, bought by us, only to be sailed back and returned to villages in Kadavu. It seems like cutting out the middleman could help both the producers and the cruisers, but it's tradition.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
|Perry as seen from a bay near Avea in the Lau Group|
Savasavu has a population of a little over 3,000 people. To put that number into (somewhat morbid) perspective, almost as many people have been shot this year in our hometown of Chicago (and some people think our lifestyle is dangerous!). But after five weeks in the remote islands of the Lau Group, Savusavu feels like a bustling metropolis to us.
Monday, June 20, 2016
|Kids from Cicia visiting Perry. Not many cruising boats get to this island.|
Our nearly month long (so far) visit to the Lau Group has been very different from our visit last year. Our work with Sea Mercy has kept us busy doing assessments of the needs of hard-to-reach villages after the destruction Cyclone Winston and delivering donated and purchased aid. We've also done a number of projects within the villages including clearing and cutting logs, building fences, wiring generators, installing water makers, and anything else that the villages need help with.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
|Cam from Port Whangarei Marine Center spraying on our Coppercoat.|