I sleep and dream of drowning. Before dawn I emerge above deck to find Steve Quinto at the ship's wheel, where I left him last night. Steve is a rich American businessman. He once owned an international airline, pioneered low-cost travel across the United States. Steve believes the world I know is in the second phase of certain self-destruction. "So you've found your way to us," he says. He nods to the horizon. Cloud and fog seem to shift at his command and the untouched, impenetrable west coast forest mountains of the island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, rise out of the Pacific like monsters made of moss and vine.

Cherie Butcherine, a passenger aboard P&O's newly-launched cruise liner Pacific Eden, describes the 'disgusting' conditions that led her to ask for a refund.

A NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said the boy was taken in a critical condition to Merimbula Airport via road ambulance where paramedics and the Snowy Hydro Southcare Helicopter were on the scene.


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