It was just after 7am and raining as Pacific Princess slipped almost silently into the little bay on the east coast of Espiritu Santo island. For a few moments it was possible to imagine we had taken Vanuatu’s largest island by surprise. There were no tugboats to escort us or dancers in traditional costume waiting to perform for the cameras.
Out of the thick bush, smoke from a dozen small fires rose to mingle with the grey cloud that clung to a long forested ridge. In the misty distance, a half dozen people fished from a trio of canoes.