capt log #3 2010

All About Volcanoes

About half way across from the Loyalty Islands to Tanna, Rick pointed out the “fog” that seemed to surround us. We decided it was some kind of a atmosphere thing, low, high, humidity thing, no worries.

The next day as we approached Tanna we noticed it was missing. Radar said it was there, Map said it was there, but all we could see was the fog thing. At about 3 or 4 miles you could just make out an outline of the Island that should have been seen at 20 miles.

We anchored on the windward side of the Island in Port Resolution Bay, no fog, and good view of Yasar Volcano. It seemed as though the fog stuff was coming out of the volcano

Luckily we arrived in time for the ride to Yasar for the evening viewing. Some Kiwi’s were kind enough to loan us some “Vanuatu”currency. The ride to Yasar was the same, the climb up the cone was the same, but the efficient Vanuatu Park Service had actually marked the viewing area for the crowd (estimated 25 persons) with small stones and yellow crime scene tape. We have never observed any effort in the past by the Park Service to protect or even acknowledge the existence of visitors. The immediate question should have been; how dangerous is this that it would motivate the Park Service to make any effort whatsoever toward our safety???? Did seem to be a lot of smoke, rocks and lava being thrown around, and even a lighting storm in the crater.

The next day we learned how lucky we were, the past week or so the volcano had been closed to viewing. I think about the same time some earth quakes and a tsunami warning or two was taking place in Vanuatu. It was also announced over the ssb that air traffic to New Caledonia and Australia was being disrupted by Yasar ash. We decided to leave.

The next day in Port Villa we heard that Yasar had again been closed because of unusual activity.