The last full day of our Secrets of Melanesia expedition dawned as we glided to the anchorage at Ambrym (Island of Volcanoes) where, rising above, Mt Marum volcano was smoking away. After breakfast we headed ashore and made the climb to Fanla Village, located in the hills away from the coast this traditional village is well worth the exertion of the climb. Having gathered beneath the ancient mangrove tree, we were called to the sacred dancing ground where giant Tam-tams (slit drums) kept watch over the village chiefs (and us) during a ceremonial dance that literally moved the ground beneath us as ancestors were invoked and thanked. Our final snorkel stop of the expedition was beneath the soaring cliffs of Ambrym. As we sailed away we encountered a group of Short-finned Pilot whales and a large, feeding flock of birds before enjoying our farewell dinner and the interrupting glow of Mt Marum atop Ambrym.
Image (c) D Brown