capt log #6 2010

More volcano stuff

Gaua is a very small island about 10 miles across and is one of the northern most of the Vanuatu group.

As all the islands of the group, it was formed by volcanic activity. Gaua ‘s central extinct volcano’s calderon formed a freshwater lake that is quite rare and large for this group of islands. The population enjoys fresh fish, prawns and of course much fresh water. Unfortunately a new volcano has formed beside the lake.

This past year this newer volcano has again become more active and the volcano experts feared that if the new volcano really blew, all the water in the adjacent lake would pore into the core and it would be like many Atomic bombs going off at once. We had heard that some people, all people, no people had been evacuated. That some, all, none, had returned. That the volcano was very, a little more, or no more active than before.

With this most up to date information available to us we decided to stop by a village that is on our favorite list in Vanuatu. The Water Music routine done by 8 topless maidens splashing in the surf was surely worth seeing again. The village has no access by land and gets maybe 2 supply ships per year, so we wanted to drop off supplies. On our last visit the Chief’s attractive daughter was pregnant. Her brand new husband, a visiting New Zealander had to go back to New Zealand on business, but was coming right back. Check on the new church under construction, and the visit the ‘Custom” house again.

As we approached Gaua it was plain to see that the volcano was still quite active, as we dropped anchor we looked for canoes on the beach, nothing. We gave a blast on the horn, nothing. Like dropping anchor at a ghost town. As we prepared dinner we heard a dog bark. When on deck, we could see the light brown, long legged mutt running up and down the beach and barking as us. Later, he found he could closer by going out on some rocks to bark. We guessed that the French Navy doesn’t rescue dogs.

That night the anchorage truly defined “quite and lonely”, even a gorgeous moon didn’t help. We kept thinking of the movie “Joe Versus the Volcano”. We left early.

Holly remarked that “at least the dog had plenty of chickens to eat”.