Throughout our snorkeling tour of the islands across the Pacific, Alan has snorkeled and I’ve watched from the seashore. Really bad timing on that broken bone, but in Port Vila we had the opportunity to go on a glass bottom boat so I could have some of the experience and Alan could still snorkel. Perfect! With the tour boat located in the harbor, we were out over the coral reefs within a few minutes. Our guide gave us an overview of the history, culture and government of the island, but was also knowledgeable about the corals and fish of the area. With the boat pausing frequently, he pointed out and identified what we were seeing. Upon stopping, the snorkelers entered the water and the remainder of the guest stayed on board with fish food to attract small tropical fish to the surface of the clear, turquoise waters. Not like snorkeling but better than sitting on the beach.
On returning to shore, we hired a local taxi for a trip into town for lunch. With some further negotiations, we wound up not only going to lunch, but to another snorkeling location. Hideaway Island is accessible only by ferry. The ferry is free, but if you want to stay behind on the island there is a $15 per person charge. It’s popular destination for snorkeling, but best known as the only place in the world with an underwater post office. Waterproof post cards are available at the shop at the beginning of the dock. In order to mail a card, you must swim out about 150 feet; the box is located about 10 feet underwater.
Another unique feature, of Hideaway, is the coral beaches, no sand here, so barefoot beach walking would not be recommended.
Our taxi driver returned as scheduled and we were whisked back to the ship, for departure to our next port of call.
|Click on picture to enlarge--tiny blue fish swimming in coral|