New Zealand to New Caledonia to Aneityum
23 July 2012 | Aneityum, Vanuatu
The passage from Opua, NZ to Noumea, New Caledonia was mostly easy and uneventful. Just the way we like them! We headed due north for 5 days to clear two lows forming in the west, then west for two days, then north for one.
While moving slowly outside the reef waiting for daylight I watched the full harvest moon set in the early morning dawn. Just as it dipped below the horizon it produced a green flash!
Nothing broke on the passage and our new sails worked really well. All the repairs held. How nice it was for the worrying prop sounds to be gone. One night the electric winch on portside sprang to life all on its own, again, but Jim was right there to throw the sheet off. Good thing he's got a supply of switches. It's probably time to replace these Lewmars with Harkens that don't have holes in the covers.
We got stuck, once more, at Port Moselle Marina in Noumea. Free wifi, unlimited hot water for showers and a wonderful daily market filled with fresh local fruit and veggies make it difficult to leave. Because New Caledonia is a French Overseas Territory with fresh baguettes, delicious wine and cheese, and those marvelous pastries, it's nearly impossible to toss off those dock lines. Our excuse? Waiting for the enhanced tradewinds to mellow out and make the trip over to Vanuatu more pleasant. Lingering through July 14, Bastille Day, just made sense.
We left July 15 for an overnighter to Lifou in the Loyalty Islands. Are we glad we stopped! A pod of bottlenose dolphins met us in the bay and escorted us into the picturesque anchorage surrounded by cave-riddled cliffs. Because the island is limestone, there is little runoff so the water incredibly clear as you can see in the picture. The snorkeling was delightful!
Another overnighter brought us to Aneityum, Vanuatu a couple of days ago. A break in the usual southeasterly trades let us sail across on a northerly, very pleasant indeed. Itâs been raining since we arrived so haven't unloaded the kayak yet - maybe this afternoon.