Pentecost is known for the land divers but it was the wrong time of year to see these.

Oct 4, 2004

Since we needed to get to Luganville to renew our Visas, our stopover at Pentecost Island was a quick one. We were the only ones there, anchored at Waterfall Bay, a pretty setting bordered by a white stone beach and, as the name implies, a nice waterfall. No sooner had we got our hook down when we heard people on shore shouting to get our attention to wave and say hello!

Dogone Dugong

But the highlight of this anchorage was our experience with the Dugong. Soon after we arrived, we caught sight of a dugong surfacing close to the boat and I quickly adorned my wetsuit and snorkel and jumped in the water. I think he must have been just as curious because the dugong was swimming right underneath me within a matter of minutes. I was delighted and he let me slowly swim with him for quite a while. By the time Gord got into the water he had moseyed off and I lost sight of him. We swam back to the boat and it was not long before he surfaced again, this time Gord jumped in and was swimming with the dugong also.

We enjoyed just sitting on the boat for a while watching the turtles and the dugong circling the boat. We noticed that Pentecost was very different from Ambrym, Mescalines and Tanna in that we saw several new looking trucks driving up and down the road and their were no dugouts anywhere.

We decided to go to shore, where we were met by some kids that only spoke French. So back to the land of French. I never did get it down pat in French Polynesia so now here's another chance. Some men were lazing on the beach and we stopped to chat with them. It was soon evident that they did not understand a word we were saying so we politely moved along.

A Large following to the Waterfall


Some boys were resting their packhorse on the road and we asked them if it was alright to visit the waterfall. So they left their horse and showed us the way through the coconut grove, followed by many villagers and a horde of kids. We all paraded along the path and eventually came to a pretty waterfall but I wasn't keen on taking a dip with all the spectators! The local boys  had a swim before we headed back.

We then walked along the road through a village comprising of houses made of concrete and corrugated tin, again very different from the primitive villages only 20 miles away in Ambrym. A man waved us down and introduced himself as the head of the Mission Secondary School that was located at the other end of the village. He was friendly enough until he told us that if we wanted to see the waterfall, we needed to give him $500 vatu each! He said pay him and then go and find someone to show you the way! Nice try. We walked back to the boat and spent the remainder of the day watching the dugong where no one would try to charge us!


Oct 5

We left at sunrise and headed to Luganville to take care of our Visa renewals.