This morning found National Geographic Orion a little farther south. With the change in latitude came a change in weather. Rain greeted us early in the day, and seas were a bit rougher than days past. Everyone spent time relaxing after the festivities of Christmas and enjoying great food—all day. There were some excellent staff presentations about plankton, seabirds, and the history of National Geographic. With the winds picking up, New Zealand seabirds swarmed around the ship. As we bobbed and swayed south, the sun set on another ocean adventure. What a day!
National Geographic Orion
Today, National Geographic Orion docked at a pier in Luganville on the island of Espiritu Santo, which is a part of the island nation of Vanuatu. We were greeted at the pier by a group of warriors who performed a traditional dance. We then visited the South Pacific World War II Museum, which was small but mighty. There were artifacts brought up from the SS President Coolidge, which was sunk off the coast during World War II. Near the museum, we looked at some of the military detritus left by the Americans after the war. After a few photo stops, we went to Millionaire Beach where the American military skuttled machinery utilized in World War II rather than leave it to be utilized by other people or countries. It was interesting to walk along the shoreline and observe remnants of machines and other discarded objects. After a delicious lunch, we went back out to explore more. We were privileged to see ‘Water Music’ performed live in the ocean. The women of Banks Island invented this tradition. They have created ways to replicate a variety of sounds utilizing only the position of their hands as they strike and move through the water. I cannot explain the sounds the women created and what an amazing experience it is to see this performance live. The final adventure of the day was fun in one of the ‘blue holes.’ A lot of people swam in this freshwater oasis. Many used the big swing to jump into the hole, while others happily floated along. The day was not complete until we learned about kava and had the opportunity to imbibe this famous beverage.