September 29

Today we spent the day here at Petersen Bay on the East coast of Santo and had a lovely time. In the morning I went snorkeling with Jonah and people from “Kaya” (an Australian boat with 2 young boys ages 8 and 10) and “Tevakanui” (a Kiwi boat with a young girl Jonah’s age named Marissa) and their parents. Kate didn’t come and stayed home to relax and do some polishing. We had a lovely time and the kids had big fun playing on the kayaks the other boats brought. The snorkeling was only eh but we did find the cockpit of a downed plane from WWII. It was one of several in the area reported to have crashed into the sea just short of the runway on Santo upon returning from sorties to the Solomon Islands which routinely were run from here.  

In the afternoon we took the dinghy along with “Wind Runner”, “Green Nomad” and “Valere” up a local river to a “blue hole”. Literally a deep hole at the head of the river filled with clear blue (fresh) water. The river’s source is a spring and the water is incredibly clear. The hole is about 25ft deep and about 100-140ft round. The water was cool and refreshing and we spent about 2 hours frolicking in the water. We also brought Marissa from “Tevakanui” with us and she and Jonah practiced their diving off the dinghy and general goofed around. It was absolutely beautiful and I am trying to talk Kate into going back tomorrow so we can bring the camera and take photos.  

We are probably going to stay here tomorrow and leave the day after (Wednesday) and make for Hog Harbor about 20 miles North of here. Hog Harbor is the home of Champagne Beach , reported to be the most beautiful beach in Vanuatu . Photos I have seen depict a long stretch of powdery white sand. We won’t stay there long though, we need to get moving up to the Banks group and on to the Gilberts after that. We still hope to leave Vanuatu on or about October 15th, perhaps even a few days earlier, depending on how we like the Banks group. There are a few islands up there which bear investigation and one semi-atoll called the Reef Islands which look like they may have excellent diving.  

Tonight is pizza night and I have to get to work making the dough, its already 5:15 pm.