I got out of McMurdo with only a 24 hour delay, which is as good as “on time” for most airlines. The next morning in Christchurch was spent sending most of my worldly possessions home from the US post office next to the Antarctic office. That left me with just some carry on bags to take a trip to someplace warm. I spent the next few hours with a helpful travel agent named Josie, and by the early afternoon I was booked to fly out to Vanuatu the next day. It’s a South Pacific nation of 83 islands, with the promise of warm beaches, good diving and an active volcano. Air New Zealand took me to Auckland, and then Air Vanuatu for the 3 hour flight to the main island called Efate. I had booked a nice resort on the beach for the first 5 days, and the rest was going to be figuring it out along the way. After 6 years working in Antarctica without a helicopter ride, I decided Vanuatu was the place to check that off my bucket list. It was wonderful to see the island from the air and take off and land on the floating raft. So far so good, and I’m off to another island called Tanna this afternoon to see the volcano up close and personal. With tour guides one can go visit great islands and tour them peacefully, view publisher site here to get that to happen.

The Kiwi pilot never missed his postage sized landing zone

Helicopter view of the reef

The resort on the left and the island I kayaked to on the right

The 4 seat chopper on it’s landing raft

A neighboring island that I kayaked to one afternoon

View from my room