With winds coming from the south southeast it made heading south quite difficult and not particularly pleasant but we continued staying as close to our desired course as possible. Once again it took a couple of days for most of us to find our sea legs, though Andrew never seems to loose his. Having Scott [...]
After spending the Friday night at anchor in the main Noumea bay we were lucky enough to secure a pontoon in the marina and were nicely tied up just in time for Scott, Mark and Jayden's arrival. Scott is my brother, Jayden is his son and Mark is my sister Patricia's youngest son. They joined us to do [...]
On to New Caledonia – the last stop before Australian waters: We waited about 5 days for a weather opportunity to move on to New Caledonia, along with a dozen or so boats heading South, almost all to New Zealand, but a few going our way. By late November, the Summer cyclone/typhoon season comes to the tropics including Vanuatu and New Caledonia, so by late October, all the cruising boats get ready to move on, most South to New Zealand, or some Australia, but a few also head North back across the Equator to Indonesia or the Philippines. We left on Tuesday 22nd October, which would get us into Noumea, Capital of New Caledonia, and the only port of entry by Friday with any luck, in time to meet 3 more family guests there on Saturday 26th. We had been more or less heading West since Panama with the prevailing winds, but now had to make 340 miles to the South West. For a while it looked like we would not be able to sail this way at all, and would have to make the long journey around the top of New Caledonia adding 200 miles to the trip and lots of motoring, but finally the wind had just enough East in it to let us sail to Noumea direct, although this was our first passage sailing into the wind since Belize back in March. We made good enough time to come through the outer islands of New Caledonia on Friday morning and get into Noumea Harbour by sunset. The Harbour was to our surprise packed with hundreds of sailing boats, most at anchor as the two small marinas were overflowing. Who they all were and where they were all going we never really found out. We worried that arriving after hours on a Friday would cause all the usual problems with officials, but not here – this is part of France and the EU, so everything is helpful, easy going and free. The photo is our Halloween party onboard - explanation in the next blog from Noumea.
Just 20 minutes out of Port Vila we had drawn a complete blank on the fishing. This was a big disappointment to Margaret, who was very keen to catch just something ahead of brother Mark and uncle Scott coming onboard in Noumea. Then fish on and the reel buzzed. Margaret hauled it in, Warren gaffed [...]