This was our second stop in the South Pacific. If you look up the island in Tripadvisor, you see that it is know for its beaches with snorkeling and for little else. Having snorkeled the previous day and not being terribly impressed, we decided to get off of the ship and walk around the dock area to see what was available. Alice was looking for some kind of hat to protect her from the sun for the remainder of our trip.
We tendered to the dock while looking at the Notre Dame de Lourdes church on the bluff overlooking the bay. Again, I didn’t take any photos on this stop, so I borrowed the image on the post from Flickr as posted by Jim Gardepe. I thought this put the island in its best light.
After getting off of the tender, we walked up through the small market where there were stalls selling wraps and offering massages. As it turns out, this is what is available on every stop in the South Pacific.
We chose not to climb the hills to the two churches on the island, so we just turned around and went back to the dock to tender back to the ship. That is when the excitement started.
Just after we sat down in the tender there was a small scream and a commotion on the dock next to the tender. It turns out that a woman passenger fell off the other side of the dock into the bay. The crew of the tender went into action. One climbed to the top of the tender and got one of the rings they throw into the water to help you float. Another member of the crew came into the tender and detached a telescoping pole from the ceiling above the seats to hook the woman and guide her over to the ladder to climb back onto the dock. The problem was that she broke her arm in the fall and could not climb the ladder. The crew had to get into the water and help push her up from behind.
Meanwhile, the tender was moved away from the dock and motored out a short way to fish out the woman’s sandals that were floating in the bay. We did not go back to the dock, but proceeded to the ship, allowing the woman to get some care on the dock before boarding the next tender.
If you thought that was excitement enough, there is more. A young woman was sitting next to Alice on the tender and she appeared to become more and more agitated. She got up and started pacing in the aisle with her head either looking down or swiveling around like she was trapped and didn’t know what to do. I think she was having some kind of anxiety attack. We mentioned this to a crew member and the crew then called ahead to the ship. When we arrived back, there was a member of the medical staff waiting to tend to the poor young woman to make sure everything was okay.
We didn’t know, at the time, that the first woman broke her arm. We found that out later when we met her in passing on the ship and she had her arm in a cast and sling. I’m sure she will have stories to tell her friends and family for many years to come.