We have not been ashore yet, but shore has come out to us by way of dugout canoes with floating outriggers made from tree branches. Tawa, our first visitor, traded us a cooked lobster for 4 D cell batteries. Tom, coming later in the afternoon, sought a few litres of diesel for his father's generator for which he gaves us papaya, christophene, and a huge bunch of spring onions straight from the garden! This is the way of Vanuatu, a long strand of mountainous islands where villages developed in isolation from one another and villagers today still live very simply. Visting yachts come prepared to trade useful items for fresh produce because it is one of the few ways the locals can acquire these things.
In the evening our rally leaders, Dave and Andrea of the yacht Diomedea (Wonder what it means? I asked. It's the species name for albatross!) had the whole rally group over for sundowners to celebrate our arrival. I think the original plan was to assemble at the "yacht club," picturesquely situated on a bluff overlooking the anchorage, but it was discovered that the five cases of beer, delivered by Tusker Beer, one of the rally sponsers, had been consumed by the villagers! So the evening was potluck with the remains of stores from Fiji, and it was a nice group of people -- mostly all accented folk from NZ, Australia and Great Britain! As darkness feel, the volcano inlnd from the anchorage belched fire and turned the skyline red.
We have a busy day ahead today. The customs and immigration officials from Lenakel, the main town on Tanna (but with an untenable anchorage) are due at the Yacht Club at 9am (possibly with another five cases of beer!), and then at 4pm we assemble for the truck ride up to the volcano. this is the BIG ATTRACTION of Tanna, the world's most accessible, active volcano. One can drive to within 150 meters of the rim and walk the last bit. This is said to be an exciting and thrilling experience.