Mystery Island

On Day 4 of our cruise we dropped in on Mystery Island, the southernmost island of Vanuatu.  When I first read the itinerary of this cruise I thought that we were going to a mystery island (as in an island to be determined later), but no, we went to an actual island called Mystery.  This was the first time we got to use our life boats.

Lifeboats being deployed as tenders to Mystery Island
On the hot, sweaty lifeboat

These life boats are supposed to hold either 125 or 150 people.  We had no-where near that many in them and they were hot, cramped and sweaty.  I mean, they felt pretty safe and sturdy, but I would refer prefer not to have to use them as anything but tenders.

The Pacific Pearl

As we pulled away from the boats we got a good view of the ship.  It looks pretty impressive on the water.

Little boat, big ship

We arrive on the island and it was just beautiful.  The water was a magical turquoise, the sand was almost white and the sun was shining.

Grandparents on the sand
The beach at Mystery Island

After being on a gigantic ship, then a stuffy life boat we decided  to get on something a little more open.  We went on an outrigger made by a man named Jesse.  The boat took him 5 months and 2 days to make it.

Grandma and Grandpa on the outrigger
Outrigger
On the outrigger

We sailed all the way out to the edge of the reef past a shipwreck.  It was just awesome.

The water is blue underneath too

When Mum mentioned she wanted to see turtles, Jesse recommended we snorkel over at the point.  It was quite a walk, which meant there was no-one there (people on the cruise generally like to eat, but not walk too far).  I took Mum’s underwater camera, but (and I am so sorry for this) I dropped it on a rock.  I didn’t realise anything was wrong until I was in the water and the camera turned off.  I had cracked the underwater case and the camera didn’t work any more.

One of the last photos the camera took

It sucks for so many reasons that the camera broke then, one of them being that it was some of the best snorkelling I have ever seen.  The was the greatest variety of fish (clownfish, garfish, angel fish, parrot fish… every type of fish I knew and quite a few more…) and beautiful, unbroken coral.  There were also clams that shut as you swam past them and schools of fish so big they almost made a wall.  We didn’t see any turtles, but we saw a lot of other things.

After our epic snorkel we headed back to the ship for yet another epic meal.

Cocktails on ship

Followed of course, by some delicious cocktails… and Mark’s Classic Dry Martini.  The Martini looked very James Bond, and it certainly made everything else taste better.

Grandma and Grandpa
Mum and Barry watching the sun go down
Life ring on board
Sunset
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