Sept. 27 – swimming with the turtles in Lamen Bay, Epi Island

We left Revolieu Bay with overcast skies and plenty of papaya.  Three hours later we anchored in Lamen Bay where we watched the local cargo boat load and unload a jumble of people, animals and copra.  The anchor was barely set when we all jumped in the water to snorkel and swim with the giant turtles.  The reefs didn’t offer much, but the turtles more than made up for it.

Karen and I did our usual land exploration and beach combing .  Meandering through the village we met Bennington who came up and introduced herself and took us to her gardens.  Her flowers were amazing and she explained about “island cabbage” and told us how to cook it.  She showed us her pizza/bread oven where she bakes breads and banana pies and the occasional pizza for cruisers.  We placed our fruit and veggie order with her and she understood our need for green bananas and tomatoes.  She’s obviously very experienced at provisioning for cruisers and understands all the nuiances of what we prefer.  We exchanged cooking techniques and she showed me how to shave coconut.  She also volunteered to come aboard our boat to show me how to cook some of the local foods, and I wished we were staying longer so I could take her up on her offer.  She’s one of the friendliest people I’ve met.  Her English is excellent and she’s traveled to a number of countries for conferences on marketing and economics for small villages.  After a few hours it felt like we were old friends.

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