09 October 2016 | Ile Uere
06 October 2016 | Noumia
05 October 2016 | Ile Uere
02 October 2016 | Baie de Somme
29 September 2016 | Bay of Prony
26 September 2016 | Noumia
14 September 2016 | Vuda
09 September 2016 | Denarau
22 August 2016 | Musket Cove
14 August 2016 | Musket Cove
12 August 2016 | Denarau
04 August 2016 | Musket Cove
23 July 2016
20 July 2016 | Suva
19 July 2016 | Suva
18 July 2016 | RSYC Suva
17 July 2016 | RSYC Suva
16 July 2016 | Levuka, Ovalau.
15 July 2016 | Levuka
12 July 2016 | Makogai

Off again

09 October 2016 | Ile Uere
Restocked on fresh provisions and going back to Ile Uere. We had intended going up the West coast but with strongish west winds and thunderstorm tomorrow decided to go the other way

La Chaumiere

06 October 2016 | Noumia
As we were able to get into the Marina Jill is spending last night on the boat instead of going into the hotel and also treating us to a meal at La Chaumiere where they do a very good Creme Brulee. The meal was excellent and having had a taste of Jills Creme Brulee I can see that they deserve their 9.5* rating for it! Turned in quite early as Jill leaving at 05.00 in the morning

Ile Uere

05 October 2016 | Ile Uere
Good anchorage at Port Koube , Isle de Quen in thick red sand no sign of the beautiful white sand beaches described in the guide, once again we wonder if the writer has actually been there. Along the coast to another anchorage for the day but back to Koube for the night.
We needed to return to Noumia to drop Jill off for her flight and reprovision so moved to anchorage which is good and protected from the southerly winds which developed overnight. A pretty spot in clear water but so close to town I should imagine it will be very crowded at weekends. Did not swim here or go ashore so perhaps we will revisit

Another Penal Colony

02 October 2016 | Baie de Somme

Very sheltered anchorage in this large bay (Baie de la Somme) in the Bay du Prony. The large ore processing facility a few miles away is visible at night time but is not intrusive. Went ashore yesterday to get rid of the rubbish and to walk to Prony. The village is part of another old penal settlement, and well preserved but uninhabited although some of the houses are now holiday/weekend homes. A modern working telephone in the village centre seemed a little out of place. The shore is red dust and stains everything and so far has been impossible remove from clothes or dinghy. We ran the generator with locker open so that we could keep an eye on but for the moment it has decided to work without leaks so we can have fresh water and hot showers. We were told that rust might seal the leak so hope this will continue until New Zealand it will make life much easier.

Off again

29 September 2016 | Bay of Prony
After a few days getting land legs, restocking and enjoying the patisseries it was time to move on. Jill booked a flight back to New Zealand in time to supervise the house sail so we had a week to explore. We sailed from Noumea on Wednesday and anchored overnight in Bay Ngo. Very pretty but much work ashore restoring the ravages of open cast mining, so a bit dusty during the day. Another early start to get the tide through the Chenal du Wooden to go into the Bay du Prony. We took a buoy in the lee of the Ile Casy in perfect shelter, just off a small white sand beach. The buoys are free and well maintained. We were aware of the ore processing plant at night from the orange glow in the sky but tucked in a hollow it was only visible from a high point in the centre of the island. The following day we had to move to the other side of the island due to wind change. There were several boats there but there were some vacant buoys. We were invited to a BBQ but did not have anything suitable to contribute so went with a bottle of wine and left before the eats. The small hotel is closed and the island deserted apart from an abandoned dog. The national parks maintain the island as a bird sanctuary. There are pleasant well marked walks and sandy beaches with clear water. Idyllic and quite a contrast from its previous incarnation. The island used to be farmed using convicts for labour but there is no evidence of agriculture now.
There are several anchorages in the bay so we decided to move on and try them out .

Fiji to New Caledonia

26 September 2016 | Noumia
19 01 10 S 174 32 59 E
We left Denarau 17 September on a beautiful calm morning but soon had to reef down as the wind picked up to 40knt true just outside the reef. A rough night (even Jill was ill) with liittle sleep and no food till midnight (although that did not trouble me too much as I was in no condition to eat). We had a 150 nm run under triple reefed main. Several changes of clothes and water in places it should never get to.
20 49 35 S 170 34 97 E
The following day the wind settled to a steady 10knt from the east and we are managed a gentle 5_6 knots. Sky is blue by day and with the full moon silver by night, beautiful but still not recovered enough to appreciate it. Apart from appreciating being able to see around the boat at night instead of being in a big black hole. Good conditions persisted most of the time, although sea was a bit uncomfortable
21 49 86 S 168 15 12 E
Slow progress with light easterlies turning into equally light southwesterlies Ended up under engine to arrive in daylight but as we were unable to make it in time anchored in Baie de Prony overnight.
22 16 61 S 1 66 26 41 E
After a good nights sleep we were up early to motor the 30nm to Noumea. The island looks fantastic from the sea and not the wasteland we had been lead to expect. The mining seems to have been moved away from the coast and extensive repair work carried out to restore the land. It was worth the early start as we got the last berth in the marina. Immigration and customs was fast and painless so straight off for a bagette and pate for lunch. Now for a few days R&R!
Vessel Name: Esprit de la mer
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau
Hailing Port: Milford Haven
Crew: Chris and Penny Bates
Chris Bates is a Haverfordwest GP retiring at the end of March after 28 years at Winch Lane Surgery. Penny is a nurse in outpatients at Withybush Hospital and retires at the end of June. [...]
Capt pictured here with his pet seagull says 'Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans: it is lovely to be silly at the right moment' and thinks it is far more important to find him a name so we are running a competition to find him a name and guess the miles he will have sailed by [...]
Esprit de la mer's Photos - La Gomera (Main)
1 Sub-Album
Created 27 April 2015
1 Photo | 14 Sub-Albums
Created 2 August 2014
1 Photo | 48 Sub-Albums
Created 18 March 2014
126 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 26 August 2013
17 Photos
Created 11 June 2013
Chris's solo sail from Panama to Tahiti
10 Sub-Albums
Created 11 June 2013
1 Photo | 20 Sub-Albums
Created 22 June 2011
Summer in Canaries 2010
1 Photo | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 24 April 2011
Six months in Brasil
1 Photo | 22 Sub-Albums
Created 12 December 2010
Cabo Verde
20 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 31 October 2010
No Photos
Created 31 December 1969
No Photos
Created 31 December 1969