Anett kicks me out of the apartment so I get my bum to the dive shop. We haven't really agreed on some sort of pick up but I have hope that Leanne will have sorted out some sort of transport. It's hot and I sweat like a penguin in a sauna when an old 1939 Ford passes by and some dude with a bald head and a long goaty stops at the end of my toes. "Jump in" he says. In "Awww" I am. What a ride. Tires, leather, a massive machine with 400 horsepowers between my legs and a 50 plus year old child who enjoys my delightment on the way to the Dive Shop. Leanne had send her husband Pete to pick me up.This day couldn't get any better... I thought.
They take me out to a wreck called SEMLE. The visibility is promising from the top. And after dropping 10 meters into the pristine blue we can see the rusty, majestic lady at the bottom of the ocean. We go down to 40m , check out the insides and enjoy this quiet dive. It's only me and Jim one of the dive masters here in Port Vila at Nautilus' Dive Shop. On the way to the shallow waters we get to see a white tip reef shark, pipe fish a leaf fish, and the usual cocky clown fish.
Clowns and breakfast
I don't know why there are so many clown fish around Efate, but besides the huge numbers there is also a lot of balls they carry around with them. I am seriously respecting these little berserkers with their tiny, sharp snouts more than any bull shark. It's their territory it's there anemone and you better respect that around Vanuatu's waters. They are cute but also very advising about the route you are diving or snorkelling.
That insane chic from the dive shop
I have tried to get my diving organised with Big Blue, another dive business in Port Vila. They come across a bit flaky and unorganised. It's not that we have a month time in Vanuatu, we are only going for a week and I need my diving sorted upfront. I contact Leanne from Nautilus. She is precise to the dot, let's me pick the dive sites I want to see and makes sure I am pampered before I even get there. I assume that she must be German according to her accuracy.
Once we meet fireworks of sarcasm,fun and irony are filling the room. We develop a lovely love & hate relationship in 10 minutes time and I know immediately that we will have a good time together. I wasn't disappointed. Leanne has been an energizer bunny with the right advice about the island at all times. I am not a trip advisor, but in this case I can only recommend to stop by if you visit Port Vila and you are keen to go diving, paragliding or fishing. (Or if you are lucky even take a spin in a pimped vintage car.)
- Jumping off a sails boat into the blue. Turtles swimming on coral reefs.
- Have cocktail in the pool.
- Smell the wind on deck after a dive.
- Peeling of the first layer of burned skin.
- Look at coconuts above your head while swinging in a hammock.
- Have a cold beer at the local Nambawan Brewery.
- Stop any vehicle on the road to drive you anywhere in town for $1.50.
- Listen to the squeaking snorkel voice of your girlfriend when she spots a new species.
- Run around in wet shorts and flip-flops all day.
- Don't shower, jump in the pool.
- That garlic butter dripping down your tongue while the grilled fish reaches your tummy.
Less Chillin' moments
- When you wake up and you realize you have pulled away the mozzy net in your sleep and the humming blood suckers are having a party and you are the bar.
- When you are totally high on nitrogen on 40 meters and your computer tells you, that you are about to run out of NDT and you find that amusing but you actually shouldn't.
- When you realize that changing money could have saved you quite a bit of ATM fees, but you were too stubborn to admit that before leaving Sydney.
- When you realize you put your finger in a "fingers forbidden" spot on a dive boat full of metal constructions.
- And then that last night when you know you gotta go back to work on Monday.
Vanuatu's airport is a really romantic place. I and my lovely lady get to enjoy it very early in the morning. Our plane leaves at 7am. Any efforts to get a cab at 5 from our Lodge to the airport are ignored and a cab is advised to pick us up at 4am, just to make sure we get to enjoy this delightful romantic place all to ourselves. The good thing was that we had a pretty nice sofa to sleep on for another hour, we got to say hi to the stamp man in charge, the pilot, the stewardesses and even the girl from the coffee shop.