Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Banks Islands, Vanuatu

Mowing the airport

Long House

Long House

Rainy day in a small village

Village water supply

Village gathering area under the mango tree

Waterfall anchorage Gaua

Waterfall anchorage

Sea cave

Local kid surfing a lil break in a homebuilt canoe

Village buried by volcanic ashfall last year


Dance in honor of a french captain who rescued some villagers

Dance in honor of a french captain who rescued some villagers

In the Ureparapara cauldera

Ureparapara cauldera

The entrance to Ureparapara anchorage
Left Port Orly at dawn for Gaua in near perfect calm, motoring.  Had waited 1 day for wind but no luck.  Just out of harbor something bit the line.  Thought it was nothing, no weight.  Then Cpt started reeling in and I saw it jump out far - big swordfish!!!  Thought no way we’d get it in on lil 25 test line (squid lure, #14 hook).  Fought it a lil, it jumps at times, swims down or sideways, had to turn boat a few times, worried it would break line or cut it with sword.  Cpt had never gotten one of these unless out on a fishing trip specifically for them, great meat and fighting fish.  After about ½ hr it’s close, beaut rainbow fish.  Up next to boat, gaff it, and about 5 seconds later the line breaks!  Get the rope over its tail and I hold it out of water so it’ll start to die.  Takes a long time- mbe ½ hr.  It measures 8’2”!!!!
Wind picks up and we have to make course change so we don’t make anchorage by night.  Go to south one marked on chart plotter.  Give sailfish meat to village, get some coconuts and peppers back haha.  And kava.  Spend nice eve sitting and talking to them, pretty village, huts mostly new looking, was evacuated last year for the volcanic eruption, they only came back 9 months ago.  Lost just one house in eruption,. Most pigs and chickens were lost (don’t know if killed/starved/feral).  People seem happy, red cross guy says it hasn’t been too hard on kids.  He’s here f E side for a week doing training.  He says they only have one small fiberglass boat for evacuation- how did they do it?  It’s really rugged terrain here.  Lots of Banks Islands people go to Luganville for work.  One girl in village went to Aus to play water music.
Kayaked out to waterfalls falling right into the sea- small now, big yesterday in rain.  Lil cave with swallows, red ants, lots of green stuff growing in it.  Landed on rocks in some swell.  Big hole excavated by waterfall, nice shower.  Go to village to say goodbye and they thank us for the fish and double check to see if we also have some batteries-panadol-potatoes-sunglasses-etc hahaha.
It’s 12 miles to the north anchorage, Losalaya Bay.  The going’s good iin light wind on W side of Gaua, but when we came around to the N side suddenly it’s blowing 20 from where we wanna go.  We don‘t make it do the passage until sunset, and the light is awful. The chart marks passage about a mile south of where it really is, we feel our way into the shallow passage in big swells, have to pull out twice before we find the right route.  A bit ugly.  We anchor safely as the sun slips below the horizon.
I read up on our equatorial destinations.  The ITCZ- the InterTropical Convergence Zone- lies just north of the equator and the SPCZ- South Pacific Convergence Zone- extends from near the Solomon Islands to Samoa and beyond.   Convergence zone are areas of low pressure where converging, rising air produces clouds and rainfall.  The SE trades associated with the SPCZ are weaker than their NE counterparts, but they are extremely steady such that completely calm conditions under the SPCZ are encountered not more than 30% of the time and the region is one of the most persistently cloudy on earth.

Our next stop is Waterfall Bay.  What a friendly place!  The family who lives here greets us with a little formal ceremony and a song about their home.  The bay has a black sand beach, springs, and nice high cliff caves.  We land kayaks on coral shelves and walk in, shoeless, on waxy black basalt rocks.  Each cave had a dif pool, some with green algae scum, some smelling of swallow droppings, some clear and clean, some w lots crabs, lil fishes, even saw one fish that looked like a lil trigger!  Water salty, even in caves 30’ above sea level.  The coral in the bay had big drop offs in clear water, almost like floating islands of coral.  Swam in shallows.  Waterfall nice, twin falls into big pool.  Lower pool for washing, upper pool for bathing… some political stuff going on between families on either side of waterfall, as usual in the islands.

Sailed f waterfall and saw another very tall  waterfall 80’ mbe, and tried to go to it. Anchored temporarily in deep calm water and kayaked in onto some very evil cheesegrater limestone over black volcanic rocks.  Waterfall fell into a sort of deep cup of slick black thickly vegetated rock so we didn’t have time to go up to it, strong rapids coming down to sea.  Very cool to just stumble upon a big waterfall like that.
Sailed in 10-20 knots SE, watching thunderstorms over Ureparapara the whole way, then sailed into them, we went below for one good shower.  Beaut island, big blown-out cauldera with high cliffy walls surrounding big bay open to east.
Village fairly friendly, walked around, beaut houses, some places like a resort, small, all thatch, palm thatch and bamboo sides, some with colored sides.  Big village with central area with boys house, church, meeting hall, etc.  Few pigs, lots chickens.  Not many pigs in Banks Islands.  There is a catamaran in the anchorage that saved the lives of several villagers here last year, when their boat ran out of fuel and they went adrift.  They put on a cute welcoming dance for him, telling the story with hats that looked like fish and catamarans.  Later we climbed up to the cauldera rim.  Given the steepness of the hill, the path was surprisingly negotiable.  Glad we did it.  Cleared area on top with nice view and reassurance that the trades were blowing out of SE and not north (which was what we felt inside cauldera).  Always cloudy and gloomy inside the cauldera.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seafood in the Solomons

The Solomon Islands have rich seas that offer a variety of seafood.
Shellfish can often by obtained by trading with villagers.  These include lobster and mud crab, which are caught at night using a waterproof flashlight (perhaps loaned by you).  Other shellfish include Mangrove oysters, mud oysters (a kind of cockle), coconut crabs (not recommended- they are endangered), and freshwater prawns.  In the western provinces there are areas of 7th day Adventists, who do not drink alcohol or caffeine, or eat shellfish or sharks.  These areas are therefore underexploited and good fishing grounds.
A great variety of eating fish can be caught, and the Solomons are generally not plagued by ciguatera.  Toothy characters include Great Barracuda, Kingfish (Spanish mackerel or Tanguige), Dogtooth tuna, sharks, and sailfish.  Also present are Giant Trevally, Dogtooth tuna, Coral trout, Red Seabass, Mangrove Jacks.  A great variety of Grouper, Jobfish, Emperor, and Snapper can be caught best by bottom fishing with bait at anchor.  Squid hanging around the boat can be caught with a squid jig or even a simple length of light nylon line teased in front of the squid until they grab it and are pulled in.
For awhile we didn’t bother putting a line out while making passages, as we thought 5 knots+ was too fast for trolling.  However, since Espirito Santo we’ve put out a lil 40lb test line with a purple squid lure every time we run out of fish, and have had great luck catching bluefin tuna, Spanish mackerel, and one whopping sailfish- 8’2”! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Favorite magazine- Wilderness Medicine Newsletter

From “Ticks are Little Cesspools”
e trust (funded by Newmont) and creation of a recreational lakeGoodies from the Wilderness Medicine Newsletter (published by TMC Books - to get an online subscription, write to info@tmcbooks.com ).  Paraphrased from Sept/Oct 2010 issue.

Ticks are the leading insect-borne disease vector in the US, and second in the world (after mosquitos).  95% of insect-borne diseases in the US are caused by ticks.  All tickborne diseases are parasitic. 

Here are all the North American tick bourne diseases (DOCs listed are for adults):

Lyme Disease
Anaplasmosis - bacteria that attacks white blood cells  Vague flulike symptoms.  Treatment is doxy 100mg             7-14 days.  E and Central US.
Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis - bacteria that attacks white blood cells  Vague flulike symptoms, maybe rash and joint pain.  Treatment is doxy 100mg 7-14 days.  Southern half US.
Human Ewingii Ehrlichiosis - bacteria that attacks white blood cells  Vague flulike symptoms.  Treatment is doxy 100mg 7-14 days. 
Cat Scratch Fever - uncommon, usually pediatric.  Swollen lymph nodes, flulike symptoms.  Reservoir is the domestic cat.  Doxy, or pt will recover without treatment in time.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever - see below
Colorado Tick Fever - attacts RBCs.  Self-limiting and not dangerous.  Start-stop fever and dengue-like symptoms. 
Tularemia - see below
STARI (Southern Tick- Associated Rash Illness) - similar to Lyme disease, SE and South US.  Treat with doxy 100mg for 2-3 weeks.
Tickborne Relapsing Fever - Western US, attacks blood vessels, mortality 1% treated, 30-70% without treatment.  Abrupt onset, relapsing high fever, shaking rigors, flulike symptoms.  Treat with doxy 100-200mg for 7 days.
Babes iosis - rare malaria-like illness, attacts RBCs.  Treatment is malaria drugs or clindamycin/other.
Tick Paralysis - caused by a neurotoxin in the saliva of the gravid female tick.  Usually peds.  Treat by removing tick (often hidden at hairline).
Q Fever - see below
Tickborne Encephalitis (Deer Tick Virus) - virus, causes headache, neck and back pn, etc.  Supportive treatment only.

Yikes-! one more reason to live every day to its fullest… you never know… (although I guess an alternative argument for sitting inside on the couch all day could be made here). 
Ticks are small arachnid ectoparasites that feed on mammals, birds, and occasionally  reptiles or amphibians.  It is estimated that ticks transmit a greater number and variety of diseases than any other arthropod.  Female ticks lay about 3000 eggs on the ground in late spring.  Once hatched, ticks take blood meals from 3 different hosts at successive stages of their life cycle- as a larvae, nymph, and adult.  This is important because nymphs are small and hard to detect but can still pass on disease.  Ticks live 1-2 years.  Disease is spread between hosts when the tick’s contaminated saliva is injected into the host as an anticoagulant. 

A little detail on a few of the diseases caused by ticks:
Lyme Disease - caused by a bacterial spirochete spread by the deer tick in the east and the blacklegged tick in the west.  Is relatively common and can cause lifelong morbidity.  Fortunately a deer tick must be attached for at least 24 hours to transmit the disease, so a thorough search after outdoor activities may detect a vector in time.  Lyme disease is most commonly spread by small, easy-to-miss nymphs.  Reservoirs are white footed mice, meadow voles, whitetail deer, and some species of birds. 
By the time symptoms appear, the disease has disseminated throughout all body systems.  There are three stages:
1) Early localized disease: After incubation of 3-30days.  The classic sign is erythema migrans - a red bullseye rash which can be present anywhere on the body, not just the bite site, and is diagnostic if >5cm.  Occurs in 50-80% of cases.
Fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes near bite.  Victim may be asymptomatic.
2) Early Disseminated Disease: 2-6 weeks or more:
Multiple erythematic migrans, secondary annular lesions, cranial neuropathies in 15% cases, lymphcytic or aseptic meningitis, cardiac manifestations in 8%, orchitis, hepatitis, hepatosplenomegaly, conjunctivitis, migratory joint pains, swollen throat
3) Late or Chronic Disease - 2-4 months or more.  Arthritis, synovitis, tendonitis, bursitis - 50% cases, neuropsychiatry behaviors: psychosis, dementia, memory loss, depression.  Encephalopathic symptoms: headaches, confusion, fatigue, memory loss.  May mimic other CNS diseases: Parkinsons, MS, stroke-like, neuronitis.
Tickbite prophylaxis is a single 200mg dose of doxycycline.  Treatment is doxy 100mg/day for at least 28 days.  An estimated 20% of people with Lyme disease have a second tick-borne illness as well.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is rare, with about 1000 cases/year, mostly in children.  It causes disseminated small blood vessel damage that can be fatal without treatment. 
Incubation is 2-14 days.  Symptoms include fever, chills, severe headache, muscle pain, mental confusion, followed by the rash.  The rash looks like small flat red spots that start at the wrists and ankles and move up centrally, usually sparing the face.  The rash gets bumpier over time.  10% of pts do not get the rash. 
Treatment is doxy 200mg for 7-14 days.

Tularemia is a hardy bacteria that survives well in cold dry environments.  It is capable of passing through healthy undamaged skin.  Spread by ticks, deer flies, handling infected pelts, eating infected meat, or drinking infected water.  Reservoir is rabbits, hares, pikas.  Occurs in North America and Europe.  Worldwide there are 500,000 cases/per, but only 150-300 in the US. 
There are 6 forms of tularemia, depending on transmission mode:
70-80% Ulcero glandular - caused by insect bite or contamination of open wound
Glandular- rare, no ulcerations, bacteria gained access direct into bloodstream
Oculoglandular - from contaminated fluids splashed into eye
Oro  pharyngeal - from ingestion contaminated meat
Pneumonic- from inhalation contaminated droplets
Typhoid al - from ingestion contaminated meat
Incubation 1-21 days, then swollen skin papules at site of bite which progress to ulceration with fever and swollen lymph nodes in groin and armpits.  Flulike symptoms, conjunctivitis, sweating, dyspnea, weight loss, joint stiffness. 
Streptomycin is the DOC: 1-2 gm/day for 7 days, or doxy 100 mg for at least 14 days.

Q fever is usually contracted via infected droplets from cattle, sheep, or goats in stockyards across America, but ticks can also be a vector.  It is highly virulent- 1 bacterium can cause disease, and it resists drying for long periods. 
Incubation is 20 days, then acute illness is flu-like and can last 3 weeks.  1/3 of all cases develop into hepatitis or pneumonia.  If untreated it can turn into chronic Q fever with long-term heart, lung, and liver damage. 
Responds best if treatment started within 3 days.  Doxy 100 mg 2-3 weeks.

Elsewhere in the world:
Lyme Borreliosis - the European and Asian version of US Lyme disease
Crimean- Congo Hemorrhagic Fever - a virus in the Yellow Fever/dengue family- attacts blood vessels.  Spontaneous bruising and internal bleeding, supportive care only, cab be fatal. 
Kyasunur Forest Disease - similar to above
Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever - similar to above
Boutonneuse Fever -
African Tick Fever - similar to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
And Australia has 4 diseases that are similar to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Queensland Tick Typhus, Flinders Island Spotted Fever, Murine Typhus, Scrup Typhus.  (yet another fun discovery for the Aussie settlers)
And more………

So wear insect repellent, sleep under netting, and do frequent tick checks!

BTW, I love this Wilderness Medicine Rag:
The Wilderness Medicine Newsletter (published by TMC Books - to get an online subscription, write to info@tmcbooks.com
A 3 yr subscription to this bi-monthly electronic magazine aimed at outdoorsmen, EMS providers, and healthcare workers costs $30.  I only wish they included a CEH credit option for my state in each issue!
These are their topics over the years: 
1 May 1988 Head Injury, Headache
2 June 1988 Feet, Sprains & Strains, Blisters
3 July 1988 Heat Injury, Heat Cramps
4 August 1988 Lyme Disease, Insect Bites
5 September 1988 Wound Management, Wound Infection, Giardia
6 October 1988 Hypothermia, Immersion Foot
7 November 1988 Legal Aspects, Major Wound Care, Epistaxis
8 December 1988 Hx of Wild Med, Snakebite, Hyperventilation
9 January 1989 Frostbite, Cervical Spine
10 February 1989 Altitude Illness, Yeast Infections, Spinal Assessment
11 March 1989 Neck Pain, Altitude, Rashes, Poisoning
12 April 1989 Dental Emergencies, Poisoning Chart, Otitis Externa
13 May 1989 Backache, Poisoning, Heartburn
14 June 1989 Rabies, Cocaine, Anaphylaxis
15 July 1989 Dysbarism, Lyme, Sunburn
16 August 1989 Lightning, Common Cold, Altered LOC
17 September 1989 Malaria, Healing, Fractured Clavicle, Asthma, Peter Hackett, MD
18 October 1989 Feet, Fractures, Mushrooms
19 Nov/Dec 1989 Toxic Shock Syndrome, Spider Bites, Femur, Frostbite
20 Jan/Feb 1990 Optic Injuries, Pain, Rescue Tobaggan, Hand Injuries
21 Mar/Apr 1990 Naegleria, Panic, Hypothermia, Red Tide, Cold Sores
22 May/June 1990 Insects, Allergies, Water, Fishhooks, Water Disinfection
23 July/Aug 1990 Violent Behavior, SCIM, SOAPnote, Poison Ivy, Patellofemoral
24 Sept/Oct 1990 Immersion, Bears, Hearing, Carpal Tunnel, Femur
25 Nov/Dec 1990 Tendonitis. Tetanus, Asthma, Hobo Spider, Shin Splints
Vol. 2, 1 Jan/Feb 1991 Fever, Hypothermia, Leptospirosis
2 Mar/Apr 1991 Fractures, Hypothermia,
3 May/June 1991 Infectious Disease, Hypothermia, Amputation
4 July/Aug 1991 Dehydration, Dogs, Leeches, Facial fractures
5 Sept/Oct 1991 SAR Basics, Cervical Spine, Raynaud’s Syndrome
6 Nov/Dec 1991 BP, Hand Injuries, Arthritis
Vol. 3, 1 Jan/Feb 1992 HBV, Socks, Snakebite
2 Mar/Apr 1992 Med Hx, Fibromyalgia, Appendicitis
3 May/June 1992 Drugs, Activated Charcoal, Vapor Barriers
4 July/Aug 1992 Ankle Injuries, Knee Injuries, Vapor Barriers
5 Sept/Oct 1992 Psych Assessment, NOLS
6 Nov/Dec 1992 Deep Wounds, Burn Care
Vol 4, 1 Jan/Feb 1993 Anaphylaxis, Puma Attacks
2 Mar/Apr 1993 Helicopter, Ailing Nails, Insects
3 May/June 1993 Diving Emergencies, Suicide, UTI
4 July/Aug 1993 Water Disinfection, Cryptosporidium, Hantavirus, Hygiene
5 Sept/Oct 1993 Book Review Issue
6 Nov/Dec 1993 Asthma, Seizures, Diabetes
Vol. 5, 1 Jan/Feb 1994 Legal Issues
2 Mar/Apr 1994 Wild Pediatrics
3 May/June 1994 Zoonoses
4 July/Aug 1994 Ozone & UV light
5 Sept/Oct 1994 The 5 Commandments of First Aid Kits
6 Nov/Dec 1994 Principles of Wild EMS, Newsletter moves back to SOLO
Vol. 6, 1 Jan/Feb 1995 Can I Do That, Legally?, Cellulitis, William Forgey, MD
2 Mar/Apr 1995 Outdoor Leadership—Past and Present, Diamox
3 May/June 1995 Parasitology, HAV, Warren Bowman, MD
4 July/Aug 1995 Wilderness Pediatrics, Allerigies
5 Sept/Oct 1995 Hypothermia, Keith Conover, MD
6 Nov/Dec 1995 Chest Injuries, Cardiac Risk, Anaphylaxis, Frank Hubbell, DO
Vol. 7, 1 Jan/Feb 1996 Hello, 911? Murray Hamlet, DVM
2 Mar/Apr 1996 Eating disorders, Bill Herring, MD
3 May/June 1996 Immersion Foot, Robert Rose, MD
4 July/Aug 1996 Musculoskeletal system I
5 Sept/Oct 1996 Lightning
6 Nov/Dec 1996 Potpourri: Frostbite, chilblains, Avalanche, David Kuhns, PAC
Vol. 8, 1 Jan/Feb 1997 Musculoskeletal system II
2 Mar/Apr 1997 Drowning, Ask the Experts
3 May/June 1997 Rabies, Ask the Experts
4 Jul/Aug 1997 Women’s Health Issues, Ask the Experts
5 Sept/Oct 1997 Water, Water, Everywhere…Death in the Backcountry
6 Nov/Dec 1997 Medecine Sans Frontieres
Vol. 9, 1 Jan/Feb 1998 Avalanche Awareness
2 Mar/Apr 1998 ALS in the Backcountry
3 May/June 1998 The Charcoal Vest – hypothermia
4 July/Aug 1998 ISMM – Case, Summer Review – Heat Injuries
5 Sept/Oct 1998 What’s Your Position – GPS, Trenchfoot
6 Nov/Dec 1998 Gender Specific Emergencies, Hypothermia
Vol. 10, 1 Jan/Feb 1999 Tendonitis, Musculoskeletal problems
2 Mar/Apr 1999 Anaphylaxis, Clearing the Cervical spine
3 May/June 1999 Wild – Critical Incident, Kayaking injuries
4 July/Aug 1999 Children in the Mountains
5 Sept/Oct 1999 Oh, My Aching Feet, Joy of Socks,
6 Nov/Dec 1999 Breathing Hard in the Backcountry, Pre-Existing Conditions
Vol. 11, 1 Jan/Feb 2000 Lions & Tigers & Bears, Oh My,
2 Mar/Apr 2000 Unraveling Abdominal Pain, Oral fluids, cave rescue
3 May/June 2000 Sunscreen Controversy, Dehydration & Heat Injury
4 July/Aug 2000 Leadership in Prevention, Lost Proofing
5 Sept/Oct 2000 Stonefish, Sea snakes, & Jellyfish, Shark bites
6 Nov/Dec 2000 Got the Travel Bug, Bugs in Bed
Vol. 12, 1 Jan/Feb 2001 Have You Ever Wondered Why?
2 Mar/Apr 2001 Don’t Blame Montezuma
3 July/Aug 2001 Contact Dermatitis
4 July/Aug 2001 Diabetes in the Wilderness, Answers to Common Wild ?
5 Sept/Oct 2001 Wilderness Rescue in the Winter Environment
6 Nov/Dec 2001 Survey of Backcountry Drugs
Vol. 13, 1 Jan/Feb 2002 Brief History of Wilderness Med Outside the Golden Hour
2 Mar/Apr 2002 Managing a Backcountry Fatality
3 May/June 2002 The World of Infectious Disease
4 July/Aug 2002 Preventing Infectious Disease, Schistosomiasis
5 Sept/Oct 2002 Cardiac Disease, Aspirin, West Nile Virus
6 Nov/Dec 2002 Risk Management Briefing, Psychotropics, smallpox
Vol. 14, 1 Jan/Feb 2003 Weather, Psychotropics, Giardia
2 Mar/Apr 2003 Musculoskeletal Trauma I, Psychotropics part 2
3 May/June 2003 Musculoskeletal Trauma II
4 July/Aug 2003 Lightning, Beauty & the Beast
5 Sept/Oct 2003 Musculoskeletal Trauma III, Pain Control
6 Nov/Dec 2003 The Performance Triad, H2O, Water purification
Vol. 15, 1 Jan/Feb 2004 When Jack Frost Bites, Mike Lynn
2 Mar/Apr 2004 Changes in Level of Consciousness, part 1
3 May/June 2004 Changes in Level of Consciousness, part 2
4 July/Aug 2004 The Heart of the Problem, Acute MI, Giant Hogweed
5 Sept/Oct 2004 Dental Emergencies, STARI, dislocated patella
6 Nov/Dec 2004 Frozen Mythbusters
Vol. 16, 1 Jan/Feb 2005 Non-Freezing Cold Injuries, Free Radicals
2 March/April 2005 Self-Preservation – Disaster Response
3 May/June 2005 Heat-Related illness
4 July/Aug 2005 Malaria
5 Sept/Oct 2005 Eye Injuries
6 Nov/Dec 2005 Burns
Vol. 19, 1 Jan/Feb 2006 Soft Tissue Injuries: Part 1
2 March/April 2006 Soft Tissue Injuries: Part 2
3 May/June 2006 First Aid Kits, Crush Injuries
4 July/August 2006 Poisonous Pearls (of wisdom)
5 Sept/Oct 2006 SNAP! Crackle Pop: Orthopedic Emergencies
6 Nov/Dec 2006 High Altitude Illness
Vol. 20, 1 Jan/Feb 2007 20 Years of Wilderness Medicine—a retrospective
2 Mar/April 2007 The First Five Minutes—the Patient Assessment System
3 May/June 2007 The First Five Minutes—Critical Care
4 July August 2007 Barotrauma—Deep Trouble
5 Sept/Oct 2007 Allergies—Runny Nose to Anaphylaxis
6 Nov/Dec 2007 The Rist of Caring
Vol. 21, 1 Jan/Feb 2008 Disaster, TB, Nausea, Tib-Fib splint, WMN Extreme Makeover
2 March/April 2008 Navigation, Dengue, Constipation, Laxatives, Traction Splint
3 May/June 2008 Diabetes, Yellow Fever, Fever, Pelvic Sling
4 July/August 2008 Facial Trauma, Water-Borne Disease, Spine, Water, Pain, Blisters
5 Sept/Oct 2008 Shortness of Breath, giardiasis, inhalers, eye abrasions/impalements
6 Nov/Dec 2008 Respiratory trauma, cholera, fishhooks, bugs in ear, antihistamines
Vol. 22, 1 Jan/ Feb 2009 A Winter Primer
2 March/April 2009 Summer Primer, influenza, rhinitis, dermatology, boot bash, Africa Prt I
3 May /June 2009 Summer Primer, influenza, rhinitis, dermatology, boot bash, Africa Prt II
4 July/August 2009 Principles of Long-Term Patient Care-Part I
5 Sept/Oct 2009 Principles of Long-Term Patent Care -Part II
6 Nov/Dec Special Haiti edition: Disaster Management Revisited
Vol. 23, 1 Jan/Feb 2010 Celiac Disease
2 March/April Abdominal Trauma
3 May/June Abdominal Emergencies
4 July/August Marine Bites and Stings
5 Sep/Oct Tickborne Diseases
To order back issues, from
a single issue, to a great CD
deal, to a full set (140 issues),
please see the order form on
the previous page. CD special (‘02 – ‘09) $65

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pentecost and Ambae, Vanuatu

Local kids trying out the kayaks

Taro farm

Freshly caught freshwater prawn from taro field

Cook Rock

Mmmm.... laplap

A landdiving tower set up for tourists

The landdiving rope

Land diving tower for tourists

Church being built right in front of the land diving tower- interesting clash of old and new

Ambae hospital

Ambae's answer to Home Depot
Calm hot trip over.  Anchor in 30’ off Cook Rock close to shore, black sand.  Gravel beach stretching endlessly along W side Pentacost.  Wali village, a little south of here, is the site where the big cruise ships come in Apr-Jjune for land diving.  Villagers uniformly unfriendly, except Thomas who is very nice.  Meet him on way into town, he greets us, shows us his chickens and thatch home, and then rushes off, saying ‘I have to go fix the cell tower generaror.”  Everyone else, even kids, frown at us.  Bible translator missionary couple live there with nice cat. 
In the morning we go to Thomas’s taro fields to catch prawns.  I have some sores on my foot that the flies won’t stay off, and he teaches me to use the paste in old coconuts as a fly deterrent on wounds.  Works great  Lots flies here. The taro fields are an amazing, vast work of hydroengineering.  Must have taken generations- they have an entire big river tamed to flow down through hundreds of walled-in flooded taro fields.  In the afternoon we go to a village south of here for a festival.  There’s kava, sports, lap lap (taro cakes, taste like cardboard), icecream.  Maybe 500 people there from all over Pentecost, teams from each village competing in sport for prizes.  I finally manage to get drunk on kava.  Wasn’t sure til today that the stuff actually did anything!  We invite Thomas for dinner on the boat afterwards. 
We leave Cooks Rock and make a day trip to Loltong.  Dead calm, cloudy, then squall blows thru just as we reach anchorage.  Murphy’s Law.  All whitecaps all the way in and doesn’t look good- mbe we should go straight to Santo?  But we head in.  Glad we stopped- we get in, wind dies, calm cozy lil anchorage inside a couple reefs with narrow passage and shore marks for copra boats.  Tourist signs for cave, shops, dances, very friendly family, young girls give us tour village, this is island government center.  Men’s meeting going on, band practicing “Forever Young”, kids play inside church destroyed by e quake, which looks like it‘s ready to fall the rest of the way down any minute, French school and English one outside town, lil bitty nursing clinic uphill on lil path with grass and uneven ground (how do the sick get up there?), 2 dark lil shops with same stuff as usu- canned fish and instant noodles.  Everyone ever very nice here, great place.
We invite some little girls out to see boat.  Show them some Antarctica photos of snow, and Cpt’s family.  They’re fascinated by his family and a pic of a big sailfish we caught.  They loved our kayaks, natural paddlers, went around teasing the little boys.  In the eve there’s a celebration that starts boring but then everyone starts dancing, grandma too, and they keep dancing in the pouring rain until dawn.  Pretty wild.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ambrym, Vanuatu

We head to Ambrym through super calm seas.  The air is thick and hazy with volcanic smoke for the next week.  The sun takes on a permanent red hue and everything more than 1/2mile from us disappears.  Ambrym is supposed to be a dangerous, magical island, in local lore.  We pass the pointed cloud-wreathed cone of an active volcano to east as we traverse the channel to Ambrym. 
Craig Cove is tiny and looks unprotected, but turns out fine.  Anchor in black sand in 30’.  Pretty healthy coral looks bright against a black sand background.  Lil handmade local ouitriggers are everywhere.  Sunken LCU on shore.  Lil store with rum and cokes, peanuts, and not much else.  We consider climbing the volcano but it is too expensive- $200US.

Tanna volcano
On the way to a picnic

Wrecked LCU

Port Craig

A typical Vanuatu house
Slit drums carved for tourists

Statues in a little ceremonial circle lost in the jungle

Ceremonial statue

Floating in the hottub

Hazy air around Tanna
We Paddle out around the N point of the anchorage.  Super steep beaches, Dip Point- where 1913 eruption lava flow destroyed hospital.  A dugong swims along ahead of us and surfaces occassionally.  We land at a black beach and go for a low-visibility snorket over healthy coral and black sand.  A grossly overloaded boat passes us, full of people on their way to a picnic. 
We go for a long walk through the interior.  We get some weird looks and many people are not too friendly in the villages. 
The next day we head out and stop at a lil anchorage on N Ambrym.  Very calm, then a lil N wind comes up.  This is a very cool volcanic area.  Black sand and rocks with bright red-orange mineral deposits and hot springs coming out all over the place.  Megapode eggs are harvested here, otherwise there is very little human presence in the area. We kayaked around the bay and trailed hands in water to find the spots with hot ocean water.  The was a big 2-3’ deep cove was like a hot tub, with a bottom of black sand that got hotter the deeper you dug your feet in.  More flies than anywhere else we’ve been.  Otherwise, heaven.