*Note to reader: I have no photos of Lamen Bay! These pictures are from elsewhere on Epi.
Huge trees grow at intervals in between the beach and the walking track at Lamen Bay. They were obviously too strong even for Cyclone Pam to mess around with, and the boatkids gravitated towards them as if magnetised – the ultimate climbing trees. Sweeping long boughs that extended out over the sand and branches like tree trunks.
We took a walk as a boat family right upon arrival, bringing /Foamy/ in on the far side of the concrete pier, which looked like it had come off worse in some kind of earthquake. There was significant infrastructure – schools, community halls etc that all looked quite Western (i.e. not thatched) and recently built.
A soccer game was going on with about twenty guys a side. M and I sat and watched while the Smalls went up the Faraway Tree. We walked down the track running parallel to the beach, saying hello to locals that we passed. The cargo inter-island ship /Big Sista/ was on the beach – it delivers supplies and takes passengers, appearing once or twice a week.
M had itchy feet and was keen to sail on to the island of Paama after a day or so in Lamen Bay. He’d read a lot about it in All Ports Lead to Vanuatu which waxes lyrical about it as a destination that is very much off the radar of most cruising yachts.
However, we remained where we were for a few nights. Lamen Bay is talked about mostly as a reasonable anchorage and a place where you can see the resident dugongs. Just as we’d arrived we’d seen an enormous turtle with its head periscoping up out of the water.
I spent quite a few hours dugong spotting in our yellow kayak, and had one swim underneath me. It looked like some kind of mashup of a seal, a cow and a mermaid with a tail that would not look out of place emerging from Loch Ness.
Early one morning I went out paddling along the edge of the bay – the water was so clear it was like snorkelling while staying dry. So many darting colourful fish – all different shapes. Chunks of cliff estranged from the land, ringed by water with trees and vines clinging atop. It was all very explorable.
However, M was keen to move on. The Smalls had enjoyed some quality time with their friends, working hard on a film about ‘bush poo’ (and the logistics thereof) – so we headed off to Paama on the morning of 10 September.