We had a lovely sail for the first 48
hours from Fiji to Vanuatu. On the third day, we hoisted the gennaker
and maintain about 5 knots per hour. On the fourth day, we had to
furl the sails and motor. That afternoon we anchored in Port
Resolution, in the southern Vanuatu island chain, next to the smoke
spewing volcano, Mt. Yasur.
Approaching Tanna Island, with Mt Yasur spewing ash
It was so exhilarating to land in
Vanuatu. Aside from the active volcano and the steam vents at the
anchorage, the mountains were covered in trees and jungle plants and
the beaches, both black sand and white, were unspoiled.
Active steam vent at the anchorage in Port Resolution
We awoke the next day to learn it was a
holiday in Vanuatu so there was no Customs or Immigration service.
Stanley, the caretaker at the Port Resolution “Yacht Club”,
assured us we were allowed to go ashore to see the volcano. That
afternoon, we piled into trucks with SV Dream Catcher, SV Rehua and
SV Second Wind and went to the entrance of the volcano. Before
walking up to the rim of the volcano, we were given a safety talk,
were sorted into groups with guides and were entertained with local
Dancers in traditional costume
Then we went to the volcano...
Yikes! We're walking closer??!?
Crater View - Mt Yasur
and we moved to the viewing area near the edge...
Looking down into the crater - Mt Yasur
Small eruption - Mt Yasur
We felt the heat and vibrations with each eruption.
Eruption with ash - Mt Yasur
As night fell, the redness of the rock, sparks and lava spewing from the volcano stood out dramatically.
Lava and crater view - Mt Yasur
Malcolm had the camera on a tripod, but the vibrations from the eruption made the camera shake as can be seen in the wiggling at the end of the light trails in this long exposure shot (1 second).
Long exposure eruption - - Mt Yasur
Eruptions from two parts of crater - Mt Yasur
Another evening, Stanley organised a
fundraising dinner for local school fees. Several mothers of children
attending the school cooked a local feast for the cruisers. Aside
from a nominal fee, many cruisers took the opportunity to donate
school supplies and clothing.