It has been ages since we've
managed to put up any photos, but now we are somewhere with internet of a sort,
its time to catch up.The next few entries should hopefully give a flavour
of our cruise northwards through Vanuatu from Port Vila, the capital on Efate
island, starting back in the middle of August.
Rhys and Krys made it
all the way out from the UK, via some driving around California, to join us for
the first week's sailing north from Efate.
We got some great
snorkelling in on a small island off Efate's west coast
But it was at the
lovely anchorage of Lamen Bay on the next big island north, Epi, that we had a
real underwater treat:
not only lots of
huge turtles around the boat...
...but the bay's
resident dugong, gently grazing on the sea grass.
Here she is swimming up
for a gulp of air which she does every 5 or 6 minutes.
Next stop, South West
Bay on the island of Malekula, where Chief Aiar, hearing that we were interested
in Kastom, but on his chiefly gear
Chief Aiar is one of the
Small Nambas group of the south western part of the island, named after
their simple penis sheaths. They have six different languages just in this
area. Chief shows Tom the inner area of his 'nasara,' or meeting place,
but it's a men only zone, so Rach is stuck on the outside taking photos.
Unlike Tanna and the south, we are now in the area where the men traditionally
take 'grades' to reach higher status - and this is where the ceremony, in which
the man must show his new learning and kill a big pig, would take
He shows us how to knock
out a message to surrounding villages on a ceremonial large tam-tam (slit
drum). He says he is one of the few men left who understand what they
A decorated cermonial
post in the nasara, made with soil based dyes, different plant fibres, and the
all important pig tusks.