Not a stop on the previous cruise, once again a tender port. Mystery Island belongs to Vanuatu. Not part of New Caledonia, this set of 80 major islands in the volcanic archipelago chain managed to get free of colonial rule (combined British & French) in 1980. You might be more familiar with the name “New Hebrides.”
First “discovered” by a Portuguese captain (sailing for Spain)around 1606, the islands were already inhabited by the Lapita peoples thought to originate from the area now known as southeast china about 3500 years ago. The next 150 years were free of Europeans till the arrival of Captain Bougainville on his circumnavigation of the globe in 1767. Then in 1774, guess who? Yep, the Captain Cook arrived, named and claimed.
The island itself is not inhabited, but trust me, there are plenty from the nearest island who motor over on ship day to set up local markets of goods, food and drinks. There are a few building on the island, mostly seeming to be of native materials.
The WWII Allied airstrip still can be seen from both land and sea.
The snorkeling featured sharp drop offs from the shore along slippery stone (not much sand here) to areas of electric blue colored small fish and an huge varied of coral. With temperatures 26-28*C and the water temperatures that or a bit higher, I stayed in the water till I felt like a prune.
I elected not to take my good camera ashore as leaving it unsupervised while I was swimming just didn’t not seem like the brightest idea. As a result [you can sing the chorus with me]….. a couple of iPhone photos to follow when I get decent internet access again.