Thursday, August 31, 2006

Earth Shaking Tanna

Current Location: Port Vila, Vanuatu
Current Position: 17 44.72 S 168 18.67 E
Next Destination: Ambrym or Malekula, Vanuatu

Since our last BLOG we made yet another attempt to sail Billabong down to Tanna in hopes of attending the Nekowiar festival. This time we tried for a "calm", willing to motor the whole way if need be. But winds & swell were higher than expected and we once again had to turn back. Luckily Island Sonata, with two engines, was able to continue to motor-sail and made it to Tanna. With the Nekowiar date still iffy we decided to just go for it, and booked flights for the 18th, planning to stay aboard IS and potentially sail back with them after the festival.

We lucked out, as the festival finally did start, on Monday the 21st ... and what a time it was. The chant-like singing, foot pounding dancing, and continuous hand clapping shook the earth below us. It was a three day festival, filled with more energy then we could've every imagined.

After the festival we sailed (on IS) around to Port Resolution, where we hiked up to the rim of Mt Yasur, Tanna's very active volcano. Again we found ourselves standing on shaking ground as one eruption after another left is in utter awe. It was a life threatening experience as a flying lava rock shot out of the volcano, landing barely 17 feet from where we stood (or ran in some cases)! We are still high from the adrenaline rush.

Both the Nekowiar and Mt Yasur were too amazing to describe shortly (here in this BLOG), therefore we our planning a full web update soon with pics and all ( -- so check there in about a week or so (our apologies in advance if it takes us longer).

We are now back in Port Vila (having sailed back with IS). After the weekend we plan to sail to one or more of the islands just North of Efate.

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