Blogs from Tanna, Vanuatu, Oceania

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Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna September 16th 2012

Tales of unique religious practices have emanated from Tanna Island for decades, a place where seemingly mortal humans are accorded divine status. There is the Prince Philip movement, which worships the Duke of Edinburgh, but far more popular is the John Frum movement, where their figure of veneration is a US Marine. Since I am drawn to observing different religions, it was inevitable that my journey to Tanna would seek out one of these faiths. The village where I stayed possessed an extraordinary sense of community, as evidenced by the story of a husband and wife unable to have children, so when the husband’s brother fathered twins, he gave one to the infertile couple to raise as a child of their own. Another expression of this communal spirit was the Sunday morning church service at the ... read more
US Marine and US flags being respectfully folded - Lamakala, Tanna Island, Vanuatu
View from the balcony of my cottage - Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Ni-Vanuatu lady - Tanna Island, Vanuatu

Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna September 13th 2012

The afternoon arrival at Tanna Island’s modest airport commenced a quest that was as astonishing as it was exhilarating – a journey to view Mount Yasur, claimed to be the world’s second most active volcano with its constant Strombolian eruptions. The off-road vehicle drove along the deeply potholed and creviced road that caused all occupants to rattle around as we bumped and bounced our way to the island’s east side. We travelled across the mountains that scar the middle of Tanna, and we climbed into the smothering fog that obscured everything else from sight. By the time we descended into the valley, night surrounded us and the vehicle’s dull headlights barely illuminated the road, so the scenery comprised of fleeting images of trees encroaching onto the narrow thoroughfare. Suddenly, the landscape dramatically changed from a definite ... read more
Mount Yasur's ash plain - Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Smoke and lava in action - Mount Yasur volcano, Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Large pieces of lava are catapulted into the sky - Mount Yasur, Tanna Island, Vanuatu

Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna September 5th 2012

In September 2012, Paul and I had one of the most amazing holidays in Vanuatu. We had the pleasure of staying three nights on Tanna Island where we had the chance to snorkel with sea turtles, climb an active volcano, smoke with a ‘real’ village Chief, experience the way of life with the welcoming Lowinio village people and much more! Tanna Island is such a beautiful island and quite different from the rest of Vanuatu. It was truly another adventure of its own. Just a short 35 minute flight from Port Vila, it’s the home of Mount Yasur– the world’s most accessible active volcano. The Island is surrounded by the blue waters of the South Pacific and is one of the southern-most islands of Vanuatu. There is a lot to see and do in Tanna – ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna September 9th 2010

September 9 2010 Tanna Island, Vanuatu - Unbelievable Hi guys, greetings from the nav station on Sunboy as we motor sail from the island of Tanna in Vanuatu bound for Noumea in New Caledonia. We made it into Tanna last Friday morning quite early and were helped into the anchorage from Norm who is sailing solo on a massive 80 foot sloop. We met Norm in Tahiti and he is just an amazing guy, 65 years of age, an Australian by birth but has lived and worked all over the world and sails this huge boat so easily and so relaxed he makes even the most competent cruiser look on with awe. Anyway, Norm guided us in through the pass and we got the pick down on the volcanic sand bottom without a problem. The anchorage ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna August 27th 2010

Awe. Terror. Excitement. Fear. Amazement. Disbelief. Never before have I experience all these emotions coursing through me simultaneously. But then, never before have I stood on the craters edge of an erupting volcano. Every time the bubbling lava pool let out an ear deafening blast followed by a fountain of bright orange lava shooting 300 feet into the air, my body would want to run but my mind couldn’t get enough of this natural firework show. In response to each eruption, my conflicting emotions would burst to the surface in the form of uncontrollable giggles. Giggles of terror! When we set sail from Fiji to Vanuatu, we planned to arrive on the island of Tanna where we could check into the country and see Mt Yasur, an easily accessible active volcano. We heard from other cruisers ... read more
Crater's Edge
I'm terrified!
Natural Fireworks!

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Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna August 17th 2010

It’s amazing how sailing can be so much more enjoyable when you aren’t seasick! I found that out the hard way. After stocking up on supplies and preparing the boat, my aunt, uncle and I set sail for Vanuatu. I knew there was a good chance I might get seasick on our first open water passage of four days but hoped my seasickness patch would work its magic. It also didn’t help hearing the horror stories the night before our departure talking amidst other cruisers at the island bar. Some of them still got unbearably seasick after sailing for years. Years! And here I was with what, maybe six days of actual sailing experience. That thought alone made my stomach feel queasy. But when the moment of truth came and we motored out beyond the reefs ... read more
Jeff's Mahi-Mahi
Trading with the locals
The Island Life!

Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna August 12th 2010

Alright, where to begin. My flight from Tanna to Port Villa was supposed to fly out at 10am. When we got to the airport we were told there was a delay. Apparently, the workers had decided to go on strike 30 minutes before our check-in and were refusing to refuel or load the baggage. The president of Air Vanuatu had to fly down settle things. About 4 hours later we were taking off. We arrived in Port Villa and the police escorted us all aside to get statements for their investigation...Whatever that means. A few hours later we were on our plane to go from Port Villa to Nadi, Fiji. As we were taxiing on the runway to turn around and take off it felt like all the tires on one side of the plane exploded. ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna May 11th 2010

At the airport the guy on the desk said he new of a place we could stay, some new bungalows so we booked that for one night, then we got talking to the owner of one of the 2 expensive resorts on Tanna and a photographer that was going to take pictures of the volcano for a new tour they were setting up. They told us how there were no tourists at the moment, talked about the tour and somehow it ended up that Andy invited us along. The owner Huey kept saying we should stay at his place but we knew the price (about 300 AU per night plus), were we booked was (we thought) 40. In the end he said he would match our current price just to get people there, so we agreed ... read more
Lanakal Town centre
Tanna store
Tanna servo

Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna December 17th 2009

Jaha, då ska vi se om jag möjligen kan författa något som är kortare än Gamla Testamentet. I begynnelsen skapade Gud himmel och jor.... Nähä, nu blev det inte riktigt rätt här. Jag börjar om. Vi har alla våra hang-ups: för en del är det Malt-whiskey, för andra handväskor. För mig är det Dugonger. - Dugungvadå?? En Dugong är ett stort vattenlevande däggdjur som lever i samtliga tropiska mellan östafrika och Oceaninen. Den ser ut ungefär som en snäll farbor som någon stoppat i en ovanligt stor strumpa. Eller möjligen en säl på steroider. 3 meter långa och 300 kilo tungar tillbringar dessa harmlösa djur sina dagar med att i med att i maklig takt beta sjögräs och sova. De kallas även sjökor och sägs vara upphovet till legenderna om sjöjungfrur (hur i hela världen det ... read more
Dugong
Jag och skalman
Green turtle

Oceania » Vanuatu » Tanna July 8th 2009

The last three days I have spent on another island of Vanuatu called Tanna. Well actually my first plan was to go by boat to another island called Esperitu Santo. But the engine broke and instead of the planned ten hour trip it would take at least twenty hours or more. Hearing stories of other travellers staying for thirty hours in the middle of the ocean made me cancel that trip. So I decided to go to Tanna and that turned out to be a very good decision. I was the only visitor at the place I was staying. It was run by a local family and one of the ‘chiefs’ eighteen year old son was running it. Like most of the times when I go somewhere I don’t book in advance but just show up ... read more
Family members
The beautiful view near the sea at Tanna
The lava spitting of the volcano




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