June 21

We are currently in Tanna, an island that is part of the country of Vanuatu. Tanna is well known for having a splendid large and active volcano that rivals Hawaii's. Locals take you up and basically you stand by the rim while it shoots lava bombs in the air. This is done at night not only for the beauty but so you can see if any flaming rocks are headed your way or not. Part of the tour is where several tourists died 10 years ago when a lava bomb the size of a bus landed on them. It should be splendid fun although I am sure Jonah and I will be terrified and be ready to run for the truck.

The anchorage here is pretty and jungle like. The village people are sweet and friendly. There are many Jon Frum believers here. Jon Frum is a cargo cult. They worship red crosses and airplanes. I think it started in WWII when planes and the Red Cross brought unknown material wealth to the locals here and ever since they have been hoping the planes will come back. I don't know what they make of the planes which come daily from the capital to bring tourists to see the volcano. The village is one of the prettiest I have seen. The people are shy, deferential and smiling. They have a chief system so we touched base with the chief and found the appointed coordinators for getting to the Volcano.

There are 6 other boats here including some folks we know including Steadfast and Chewink - a boat from Maine we have not seen in over a year. Chewink is captained by Cabot and Heidi who are owner's of the famous boat builders Lyman-Morris. They are a lovely couple who are on their second cruise around the world.

Today it rained and was a bit cloudy so the volcano tour did not occur. We will go on Monday instead after we arrange to get some Vatu (local change).

Jonah went and played soccer with the two boys from Steadfast and 3 boys from a Danish boat. He looked very happy and excited. I think he had a splendid time. We sat on Steadfast and chatted with Gabby and Adrien.

The passage here was ok except I was a bit green the second day. I went without a seasickness patch because they make me feel a bit weird. I didn't get sick but I got a headache, extreme exhaustion and a bit emotional. I guess I will go back to the patch. Otherwise the sailing was ok and the seas were just a bit roly.

I have been reading tons lately. Among the many books I finished recently was Paul Theroux's Hotel Honolulu. Initially I read his travel books and found him to be a somewhat crank travel observer but very amusing. His novels are brilliant though. He is my favorite novelist. I just found a really old novel called the Consul's File which I am reading currently. Otherwise I have plowed through How to be Alone by Jonathan Franzen and am in the middle of the Best American Essays of 2002 edited by Stephen Jay Gould.

Lots of essays. Oh I read "The Potato Eaters" by ??? - didn't enjoy it that much - rather turgid romance passing itself off a historical novel and when you write a 800 page novel it better be damn good. Jonah begged me to reread the third Harry Potter book to him again and I have agreed.