Vanuatu mission takes on new course
By DIANE BRONCACCIO, Greenfield Recorder Staff, Sunday, March 22, 2015
HEATH — The snowy, ice-covered hilltops of the Berkshire Sweet Gold Maple Farm seem worlds away from the 83 tropical islands of Vanuatu. But Brooks McCutchen, Janis Steele and their three sons are preparing to leave Heath after maple sugaring season for the hurricane-damaged island nation.
From the Republic of Fiji, they will sail on their research vessel Llyr for the roughly five-day journey to the South Pacific islands, where central lush forests and subsistence gardens were scrubbed bare by the 185-mph winds of Cyclone Pam, a Level-5 hurricane that struck on March 13.