A rollicking ride to Liro on Paama

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Wed 1 Jul 2015 11:00

Position           16:27.10 S 168:13.40 E

Date                Wednesday 1 July 2015

Distance run    From Lamen Bay to Liro - 10.9nm over the ground, 10.8nm through the water


Chart showing the 10nm from the north of Epi to Liro at the North of Paama


Wet and windy would be an understatement as the whole of the Pacific seems to try and get through the east west gaps between the islands.  The purple wiggly lines on the chart denote confused and rough seas – great.  Due to rain showers visibility was so poor that we did not see the island of Lopevi to the east which was a shame as it appears a perfect volcanic cone having last erupted in 1955.  We also only got occasional glimpses of Ambryn to the north so did not see the smoke from the active volcanoes.


The village of Liro has the main Health Centre on Paama and we anchored off there.  Despite the shelter of the island we were still getting gusts of 25 knots plus and swell appeared to be finding its way around from the north and south.  In those conditions it definitely was not a safe overnight anchorage.


Rather than leave the boat unattended I put Elizabeth ashore to go and make contact with the health workers so that she could carry out an assessment to see if we could give assistance.



At first sight the village looked well-ordered with many building in use left over from the French colonial administration.  We learned that villages in the centre of the island were not as well set up and had suffered rather more damage during the cyclone.


The Health Centre manned by Nurse Practitioner Billy, Senior Nurse Sam and Health Worker Rosita was well ordered, hygenic and organised with a well stockd dispensary.  There appeared a proactive approach to medical practices with regular visits to outlying areas using the surgery truck.


Paama and the village of Liro from the anchorage and when the visibility lifted


The Paama Health Centre at Liro complete with the important water catchment tank


Clean, tidy and hygienic – a model of a well-run Health Centre


Nurse Practitioner Billy showing his diabetes records in a well ordered consulting room


Health worker Rosita and Senior Nurse Sam.  An interesting by product from the colonial administration is that Billy is an English speaker whist Sam and Rosita are French speakers.  Elizabeth is finding that her ability to communicate in French is particularly useful.


Sam’s boat, a Paama institution, taking off some clothes and other supplies destined for the more remote villages to be distributed from the Health Centre