02 December 2016 | Marsden Cove Marina
23 November 2016 | Marsden Cove Marina
17 November 2016 | Opua
14 November 2016 | At Sea
14 November 2016 | Opua Marina
07 November 2016 | Noumea
25 October 2016 | Ile Casy
23 October 2016 | Ile Uere
18 October 2016 | Noumea
17 October 2016 | Presqu'il de Uitoe
16 October 2016 | Baie de St Vincent
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

Settled in and sorted

02 December 2016 | Marsden Cove Marina
Gradually getting boat ready to leave. Cleaning a cabin at a time. Have booked coach to airport as the one way car hire does not look as if it will materialise (at reasonable cost)
Inaugural Sausage Sizzle this afternoon announced by cannon and will continue every Friday over the summer. Look forward to next one when we return after Christmas.

Home to Marsden Cove

23 November 2016 | Marsden Cove Marina
Back in Marsden after an overnight stop on way back from Opua. Same pontoon just moved down a couple of places. Water very clear and is quiet after Opua. Has been a lot of building on the estate although some of the houses look more like site offices. There are very few nice plots left


17 November 2016 | Opua
Weather cold and showery. Quite a change after the tropics but at least we are in. There are about 30 boats stranded in Minerva waiting for the weather. We have set repairs in motion, the inner sail and furler has been removed and the generator checked over we are hoping that it will be repaired under warrantee as a manufacturing fault. Nice to have a few days to chill out but ready to move on to Marsden Marina

The Passage and an exciting ride

14 November 2016 | At Sea

An early start as we wanted to leave dock before wind got up. Up at 05.00h for last minute preparations and then Chris was off to buy bread and croissants (my last real one until next year). The wind arrived before we left but departed dock without mishap, then on to the fuel dock which took some time but we were finally under w by 09.00h.
22 59 89 S 165 57 62 E
There was another boat sailing in the same direction as us (we think the French boat Chris met in customs ) Chris was doing his usual trying to race it but it was quite a game as we kept leap frogging one another but on the 9th his lights disappeared and we left him behind. 11 November and we passed close to Norfolk Island (where I had hoped we would anchor By Bates Mountain) but weather was not suitable and with the storm forecast we continued on. The storm passed over later in the afternoon we had gusts of 50 knots and recorded a top speed of 16.8knts (a record!) making quite an exciting ride – who needs a roller coaster?
The weather settled and we breezed along at 6knt on a 2m swell, with Chris worrying that we would lose the wind altogether, but we had a cold and rough night it looked as if we would once again arrive with full fuel tanks and containers. The sea gradually improved and sun came out so we set about eating all the things bio-security would confiscate, scrambled eggs, cheese and the last of the fresh fruit and vegetables. The wind disappeared completely for a while(Chris was right after all) enabling me to partake in the feast as well. It did not stay away long and by the 13th we were back to 7.5knts with just a reefed main. It remained fairly windy but was protected in the Bay of Islands. The French boat had arrived ahead of us so there was even someone to take our ropes.
Customs had not started so we were able to have a cup of tea and finish the last of the food before they arrived.


14 November 2016 | Opua Marina
Customs, immigration and bio security arrived en mass and gave the boat a good going over. Checking in lockers etc, it was much more invasive than previous occasions but very fast. We had forgotten about our pepper spray (it was out of date and had been given to us by an American boat when we were in the Caribbean) so it was confiscated and we were given a verbal warning. They helpfully told us that insecticide or oven spray is just as effective, and although the pulses were taken we were allowed to keep the remains of the butter an discovered that cheese is now allowed so we could have bought loads in, and we need not have gorged ourselves on the way in!

Nearly time to go

07 November 2016 | Noumea
Have had a pleasant week in the Marina, preparing for departure and watching the weather. Now well stocked on tins with a bit of fresh meat for first couple of days. Had a nice meal out at La Chaumiere with ?earlier this week and a tea party today on board with scones and banana cake for a few friends
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 - Baia de Camamu
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The church, a delicate shade of pink in the photos we have seen but now resplendant in red. They must have bought a job lot of the colour as the walls, railings and many buildings are the same colour.
The church, a delicate shade of pink in the photos we have seen but now resplendant in red. They must have bought a job lot of the colour as the walls, railings and many buildings are the same colour.
Added 23 April 2011