Following Endless up the River
PORT SANDWICH, Vanuatu
North of the Mescaline Islands is the big protected bay of Port Sandwich. Shark attacks have had an impact here so there definitely will be no swimming, There is a warning painted on the dock but we anchored further up the bay.
Endless, Freefall and ourselves piled into our dinghies and ventured out in search of "Murder River." We found a small river that we thought was it, but it was quite a chore to motor up the shallow waterway through entanglements of branches and vines. Finally, we got to a bridge that made further exploration impassable so we surveyed the area on foot.
The real 'Murder River'
Later Gord and I ventured further up the bay and found another, much wider and larger river, which we could only surmise must be the real "Murder River." We explored it and were fascinated by the dense jungle and mangroves that looked as though a crocodile should slither off the banks and into the water at any moment. The Amazon equivalent in Vanuatu!
Back at the boats, we needed to seek permission to anchor in the bay and were invited ashore to meet the owner of the little farm. Ezekiel, a real character, met us on shore and at first we were not sure what to make of him. He was yelling at us in mostly Pig English that was hard to understand but we soon figured out that that was the way he just talked.
He led us to his farm and showed us the church he was building. Turns out he is a Presbyterian Minister and we were promptly commandeered into a little building for singing and prayer to assure our safe journey. His wife joined in and we were encouraged to sing also. His enormous enthusiasm and seriousness made us force ourselves to refrain from bursts of laughter!
Afterward his wife offered us lemonade and we looked through their photo
album and met the other members of the family. We had a great visit, all
the while the women were on the floor preparing huge packages of fruit
and vegetables for us to take back to the boats. we could hardly carry
back all the gifts they gave us.... coconut, papaya, cucumber, cabbage,
limes, peppers, tomatoes, pamplemous (grapefruit), green onions, bok
choy, and a huge stalk of bananas!|
Sept 29 Walk to Village
The morning brought rain and wind so we all decided to postpone leaving. We opted to walk to the village which was spread along a road that took about an hour to walk, all the while waving and stopping to chat along the way. We walked through a village where young boys were practicing with their bows and arrows and Axel took a try.
We found a little store and stopped for a beverage. A local at the store offered to show us the way to part of a plane crash from WWII. He attempted to tell us the history of the plane but we didn't understand much as he did not speak English. We later found out that the larger part of the wreck was just over the hill and what we saw was only a tiny portion of the engine. But it was a good adventure.
Ezekiel was invited onto Freefall but his family was too shy to come onboard
We reached the sparse village of Lamap and found little more than the remnants of bunkers and buildings form the war, some converted back to living quarters. We came across a weather station that was rather interesting.
That evening we all had a potluck supper on Freefall. However, with the building wind, we were dragging our anchor so pulled it up and moved Ascension to a location around the point.