Vanuatu was definitely one of the most beautiful group of Islands I have seen during our 3 year trip in the Pacific. We spent a bit more than a month there and we still feel we missed out on a lot. We could have easily spent 3 months without getting bored but we had to be in Cairns by september and still had Solomon and the Louisiades on our list.
It was great to have Emma and Sebastien with us for 3 weeks! Time flies when you are having fun. The snorkeling was great, the people were friendly and the villages still very authentic. The weather was not at its best but nevertheless we enjoyed every minute of it.
After visiting Tanna we decided to sail directly to Port Villa, the capital of Vanuatu, because the weather was not going to be good the next couple days. We sailed through some rough weather with a lot of thunder and lightning but nothing Sanuk and the captain could not handle.
After foodshopping for the next weeks and washing off the salt from Sanuk at the dock in Port Villa we were ready to sail to Pentecost Island to see the landdivers. We anchored at several islands and every time we were amazed at how many children there were and all soo happy.
We did some snorkeling at every stop we made and were never disappointed although we did not see the dugongs. The coral was beautiful…
We made a stop at Ambrym Island where only a couple months before the volcano became active, no lava but a lot of ash was released and many left the island to go to Santos. We met some people who stayed…
Land diving is a ritual performed by the men of the southern part of Pentecost Island from April till the end of June. Men jump off wooden towers, 20-30 meters high, with two tree vines wrapped around their ankles. It is done without safety equipment! The ritual is connected with the yam harvest season as one good dive would ensure a good yam season. It has become a tourist attraction over the years but still very exciting to see the courage of these men.
After the ceremony we were invited to have some real, freshly made kava! Kava is used for medicinal, religious, political, cultural and social purposes throughout the Pacific.
Returning back to Sanuk we felt grateful we were part of this special ceremony of landdiving. We had time enough to sail to “waterfall bay” where we stayed for the night.
Next we sailed to Santos, the final stop for Emma and Sebastien. We visited the gorgeous blue holes and did some more snorkeling.
But all good things come to an end…
We continued sailing north, checked out in Sola and sailed to the Bank islands, still part of Vanuatu. The more north we went, the more the islands were remote. We did not have internet and we exchanged goods for food.