June 29, 2017
We survived! Despite my history of poor dodgeball skills, we were not hit by lava (though it was very close to us!). Here’s the video (no, we weren’t using a telephoto lens!)…
Everyone we’ve talked to says experiencing Mt. Yassur is a lifetime highlight. I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype. It did. This was an amazing experience!
We got a ride in a truck from the “Yacht Club” in Port Resolution to the volcano center entrance. There, we had a blessing from the chief (helps keep lava from hitting you), a little dance show (that was really great) and a safety briefing. Then it was into more trucks for the ride along steaming roads to the crater rim.
We got to the rim about sunset. Our guides observed the direction the lava was falling to decide with way we’d go to view the action. (He chose well. No one died!)
There were about 30 of us in the group, and all of us took a simultaneous step backwards when the first explosion hit. The force was amazing. It was like something from an atomic blast in the movies. It blew our hair, thumped our chests and popped our ears. It took at least twenty blasts before Cyndi and I stopped jerking backwards and were able to keep the camera mostly steady.
It was surprising just how close they took us to the blasting lava. Obviously there isn’t a lawyer overpopulation in Vanuatu. This kind of thing would never be allowed in the U.S..
Below are some stills from the night – a night I’ll never forget. (You can click to enlarge/scroll through photos below)-Rich