Lovely Port Orly

Some notes on Port Orly

 After spending two weeks here in total over the past month, Port Orly has become one of our favorite spots in Vanuatu. Here are some notes to remember for future visits:

 Snorkeling is excellent by the small island as well as in the middle of the bay behind the reef with the wreck on it. Some turtles and rays as well as beautiful coral and the normal Vanuatu tropical fish. (one shark)

 You can anchor safely in a large sandy area between Bucephale Island and Thion Island. There are numerous coral bombies, but most are low and it is easy to find a spot to anchor.

 The water is aquamarine, warm and fantastic for swimming.

 If you take the dinghy all the way across the bay to the west you will find that it leads into a river which is easily navigable by dinghy. You can also kayak once you get inside the river. Up the river about 1/2 a mile is an adorable restaurant, just being completed while we were here. If the two toothless Vanuatu grandfathers who are building it are able to pull it off, it will be a really fun destination for any future visits.

 The anchorage faces Thion Island which has a beautiful little beach that is walkable at all tides – some great shells wash up there.

 The locals sometimes fish nearby, but do not venture close to the boat.

 The village of Port Orly has one restaurant in operation, owned and run by Rosina – worth a stop, even if it does cost about $9 a person (a fortune here). No menu, they just serve you what they have that day.

 The villagers seemed unfriendly at first, but after walking through town a few times we discovered that they are actually very sweet and friendly, especially the kids. A small amount of conversation in French earns many smiles.

 Behind the school is a little cantine where you can buy local fruit and vegetables during school hours. They will even try to get you things you ask for if you order it the day before.

 There are a few tiny stores – they just have some old tinned food and fly covered bread snacks.

 There is a local health clinic which was very greatful to take all of our old medications – their supplies are almost nil and one woman does everything by herself.

 The sandbar near town is great for anchoring the dinghy, but only at high tide. At low tide it is totally inaccessible, being filled with broken hunks of coral.

 The alternative to the sandbar is a nice sandy beach about 1/2 a mile away by dinghy – towards the west – right next to a broken down jetty. The fishermen who hang out there will be happy to share their fresh sardines with you.

 Getting back to the boat from the jetty can be a bear – a chop tend to form in the open water between town and the anchorage. You have time your visits to town carefully.

 Very nice place……. pretty close to paradise in fact.

 Tomorrow, however, we have to move on…. heading a little south.

Posted via email from sabbatical3blog’s posterous