LTY UPDATE: Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Luganville Bay, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
LTY time: 16:45 (Vanuatu time = UTC +11)
Location: Luganville Bay, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Position: 15 31.426 S, 167 09.759 E (you can cut & past this into Google Earth to see on map)
Wind: 10-15 SE
Seas/Swell: 0.5m ESE plus good tidal current through this channel
Weather: Sunny yesterday (Mon) Overcast today
Air temp: 82 F 28C
Sea temp: 90.5 F 32.5 C
LEISURELY DAYS in LUGANVILLE BAY
Not too much to report from the anchorage here in Luganville Bay so I'll try to keep it brief as I spend my time picking up a few provisions ashore and catching up online with the good Internet connection I have thanks to my cellular modem.
First, thanks to all who sent me notes and concern about the dog bit and the update is that all is well and (sorry to disappoint any of you) I'm going to live! ;) The bite happened two weeks ago today when I was in Port Villa and the few (5) punctures seemed fine after good cleaning and keeping them that way along with antibiotic salve. But after ten days the largest deepest one suddenly became rather sore and red and the area around it on my inner right ankle started to swell a bit. This factored into my decision to leave my little slice of paradise pie over in Asanvari Bay early and come here to Luganville as it is the 2nd largest city in Vanuatu and has a hospital. By the time I got here to Luganville my ankle was feeling much better but I decided to be smart (hey! it can happen!) and go get it checked anyway. I won't be anywhere near any medical facilities for the rest of this month here in Vanuatu and then I've got the longer passage north to the Marshall Islands which is about 1500nm so that will take between 10-15 days.
I do continue to be able to find ways to surround myself with beauty. On the walk back from the hospital I spotted this brilliant explosion of colour as a large bougainvillea had grown up intertwined with this tall evergreen tree. And last night we had the amazing sunset you see below.
Getting around here in Luganville is pretty easy and I've got several options. I took my dingy up the bay a bit to the river entrance and was able to go up the river to the edge of the town center and tie the dingy along the river banks right in front of the market. In town there is a constant stream of vans and taxis such that if you put up your hand one will stop within seconds. Vans cost 100 Vatu and Taxi is about 150 - 200 so for between 1-2 US dollars you can get anywhere you like. The town is relatively small so you can walk to most places but it is spread out on just one shore side main street so it stretches for several kilometers and the van/taxi option is sometimes the way to go. I walked most of the town but the hospital is up the hills a ways out of town so I got a taxi to take me there. It was a tiny spot but there was a door marked "Emergency" so I tried that first and though it was locked, a smiling head nurse soon opened it up and invited me in.
Very Spartan but very clean facility inside and I received great care there. Contrary to what most people think, me included originally, medical care in pretty much all of the so called "developing" countries I have been to in the past 5 years has been very good and very affordable, so you have to initially work to change your views and attitudes accordingly. This most recent experience will give you some idea of what I mean. The head nurse asked for the details and gave me an initial exam followed by the attending physician. They pretty much agreed with my self assessment that there was an internal infection but it was getting better and recommended I take some antibiotics for 7 days to help ensure it was all cleared up. They also recommended a tetanus shot to guard against rabies and that I continued to clean the wound as I had been. I gratefully accepted their recommendations and prescriptions, confirmed that I had no allergies to medication and soon had a shot in my arm, a zip lock bag of Amoxicillin and a tube of antibiotic cream in my hand and was back out in the beautiful sunny day walking back to town.
Total elapsed time in Emergency: 15 minutes or less
Total cost: 3000 Vatu (US $30)
Need I say more? Well, just that today the swelling, redness and throbbing is almost all gone and my ankle and I feel very good.
Today I went back into town to get a few more provisions and top up my cellular modem to last me through my rounds of Skype calls, Emails, Kindle downloads and yes, PICTURE uploads of bats, boys and bread! I'll get to uploading those pictures tomorrow and let you know when I do but it is getting late, dark and cold for me here and the galley is calling my name so I'll sign off for now.