Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Fun and beautiful blue holes

We have now spent almost a week in Espirito Santo, first in Luganville (second biggest city in Vanuatu) and now in Peterson Bay.

Santo was a major American military base during the WWII when fighting the Japanese invasion of the Pacific, though most of the fighting and losses were up in Solomon, where we're heading next. Aparently 100,000 American servicemen were stationed here for several years and it obviously had a major impact on the locals and the environment. They did bring a lot of jobs and economy with them and to the Ni-Vanuatu people the Americans seeemed very wealthy and generous.

When they left they dumped a whole heap of equipment into the sea, aparently negotiations with the French and/or locals fell through, and it was too expensive to transport back and they didn't want it to fall into wrong hands, so into the sea it all went. The place is now called Million Dollar Point and is a great snorkel attraction, as you litterally step into the sea from the beach and can see trucks and all kinds of things scattered on the sea bed, though some things need a fair amount of imagination to recognise after almost 70 years in the sea.

Peterson bay is an extremely protected bay just north of Luganville and we're enjoying a completely roll-free anchorage for a change after the rolly Luganville spot. There are two blue hole up two rivers from here and we have now visited both. Lovely amazing fresh and very clear water, beautiful green trees, a rope swing at each hole = we had a ball.

Another impact we saw from the Americans is the camouflage vine that was introduced to hide military equipment. It sure was effective as camouflage, but it now continues to smother the native forest in this massive green blanket. Kind of pretty, but also kind of not.

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