12 December 2009 | underway
We couldn't put it off any longer- well not much longer, anyway- so we finally left Noumea Wednesday morning and are currently underway to Brisbane, Australia.
We were sad to say goodbye to New Caledonia, both because we have really enjoyed our time there (it wasn't all baguettes and brie, we also visited the impressive Tjibou Cultural Center and got in some good beach time at a couple of nearby anchorages) and also because it represents the end of our south pacific cruising adventure. After we get to Brisbane, there will be no more exciting new landfalls, no more idyllic turquoise anchorages, no more of the generous cruising community camaraderie- probably what we'll miss the most.
But, hey, the upside is that this is our last passage! And as passages go this one hasn't been too bad... so far... knock wood... don't JINX it, dang it! It started off a bit uncomfortable: the swell pushed us around pretty good and it felt like we were inside a giant washing machine. We looked at each other and said, "We're not going to miss THIS!" But the wind was behind us and pretty soon the swell got behind us too- and within 24 hours we were having a lovely fast sail straight down the rhumb-line toward our destination.
A couple of days later the wind died inside of this nice protective high pressure cell that cushions us from any nasty weather... but that was okay, too. The sun was shining, the seas were flat and we have plenty of diesel. John and I have been doing a lot of reading. Maddie and Sophie are spending their time either reading Harry Potter books or playing Harry Potter (complete with self-made quills, parchment, cauldrons and spellbooks).
It's now Sunday morning. We are still without any wind to sail by and the swell is starting to pick up- and it's coming on our beam so we're beginning to roll a bit. But in less than 24 hours we should be entering Moreton Bay on the Queensland coast and 6 hours after that we should be tied up to the quarantine dock completing the clearance formalities... the end of our last passage.