Yes, we were forced to swim for hours here. The water does truly fizz like champagne...er... sparkling wine. *shakes fist at French copyright system for murdering the language. Wait 'til the French infringement bureaucrats hear about the name...
The best weather for the day on Santo turned out to be just where we spent the day. After hours on the beach, the cool water of the Nanda Bluehole was a salve for a certain person who was quite pink...scarlett... firetruck red.
Lunch at Lonnoc Beach Restaurant proved to be a feast of the best coconut crab and a lobster that was simple as it was sublime. Lobster with limes. The crab had a delicate coconut, lemon juice and ginger sauce that allowed the crab meat to shine. Much lip smacking and finger licking abounded.
Cindy (below) was our waitress who provided excellent service with a constant beautiful smile. We dined in a traditional Ni-Vanuatu long hut with sand floor and layered palm leaf roof.
One of the great pleasures in Luganville is to dive on the wreck of the SS President Coolidge. This is a wreck with a narrative that can be found repeated in history as it involves human stupidity from those in charge that results in the sinking of this ship which is 16m shorter than the Titanic.
In short, the Captain, rather than waiting for the pilot to guide the ship through the port which had mines positioned in strategic locations, steams ahead and hits not one but two mines.
However such stupidity and tragedy creates opportunities for better things to occur in time. Like sharing some brief time with a turtle.
Today's agenda was to hit the Matevulu Blue Hole (MBH) as part of the Oyster Island experience. Jumping on a double kayak we paddled across the inlet and into the waterway that led to the MBH. Crystal clear water and intertidal zone with super vegetation provided plenty of visual entertinment whilst we powered through the water.
The Matevulu is the largest of the blue holes and the clever things nature is doing underwater there is fascinating. But lets stay on top of the water for now...
Yep, its blue. Thank goodness I was wearing a matching rashie.
Underneath the water, the algae grows in a variety of formats but the version that grows in a mode that resembles a fishing net is really clever.
Yep, the sun sent beaut shafts of light through the clear water. The algal nets were vertical and horizontal capturing leaves and perhaps other microbial matter that suited the plant.
After a very pleasant kayak back to the Oyster Island Resort, a swim and the Mother's Day Buffet was the go. We skipped dessert and headed out for a bit o' snorkelling at one of the many reefs that surround Oyster Island.
Its picture perfect... immediately. Unlike the years it took for the Australian art community to appreciate Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles, the clear, soft, blue water of the RiRi Blue Hole brings a sense of peace and wonder to the head and the heart.
Opting to take an outigger canoe expertly piloted by Billy, the quiet glide with guide along the water was so refreshing, nay... refreshment for the soul. Refreshing was when we popped into the water for a dip.
The limestone base provides the blue colour and when combined with the clear spring water, the clarity is quite remarkable. Even after a bomb or three from the rope.
In an almost comedy of errors by Air Vanuatu, it took nearly 42 hours to get here, but standing in the main street of Luganville proves the pain of a series of delays was something to bear. Santo, as it is known, is a small island in Vanuatu 45 mins flight from the big lights of Port Vila. To quote Daryl Kerrigan, you can "feel that serenity".
Anne enjoyed the snorkel and the pool. Loads of fish in one, clear warm water in both. Having dived twice on the Coolidge in the morning, i was gassed out and happy to laze away.