Saturday, 15 August 2015

Turtles, Dugongs and Volcanoes

We have been making our way up the islands of Vanuatu to Espiritu Santo Island where we will spend the remainder of our time in Vanuatu.  Internet signal comes and goes as we make our way around making updating the blog difficult:( But it has been so worth it!  
I have accomplished one of my dreams!  I swam with turtles!  But that is not all…. I swam over the top of a Dugong, otherwise known as a sea cow.  They are enormous and I got a really big fright, despite the fact that I had been swimming around looking for it for the best part of an hour.  It was really only a fleeting glimpse as it took off very quickly and I never really got a chance to get up front and personal but I was so happy!
But the absolute highlight of the voyage North would have to be while anchored in the beautiful Lamen Bay at the top of Epi Island.  We were able to see across to Ambrym Island from where we were anchored and could see the two plumes of the twin volcanoes.  They appeared as two cloud formations.  But that evening was simply wondrous as the sky was lit up by the eruptions.



The weather has been warm during the day and a bit chilly at night.  Showers today and periods of overcast skies but still warm enough to swim and snorkel.  The water is so clear and clean, we can see the bottom from in the boat and the beautiful tropical fish.
We caught only one fish trolling up through the islands, a Mahi Mahi, but it fed everyone for 2 meals so very nice:)  Of course, not being a big fish eater myself, I get to have something easy for myself that I really love - like banana on toast or cheese and crackers haha!
Having been to Port Vila, to a resort, many years ago, I would highly recommend Santo Island instead.  There are more white, sandy beaches and the setting is beautiful.  We will be exploring over the next couple of weeks but we have yet to see Champagne Bay, Oyster Island, Rewi River, the Blue Holes and some other amazing places here on Santo.
We went in to the main town, Luganville, yesterday to reprovision and went to the local produce markets located on the banks of the river:)  The town was small but had everything we wanted, including a hardware store that seriously rivalled Bunnings!  I lost Ron for hours!  The sreets were wider than Vila and the pavements were properly concreted but Santo was not as badly hit by the cyclone so maybe Vila was like that before Cyclone Pam.
The wind is down for now so we are heading to Oyster Island today.  Overcast and drizzly but time for a new spot:)  It is just 12 miles so not too far to travel.


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