Wednesday, 16 September 2015

I love Noumea!

I love New Caledonia!  It is definitely cooler and requires warm clothing in the late afternoon but the cruising ground is amazing!  There are little islands everywhere and many safe anchorages to run to if the wind gets up:)  We can often find an island all to ourselves and they are so beautiful:)  The water is a rainbow of turquoise blues, crystal clear and the sand a beautiful white coral:)  There is an abundance of turtles and we have seen several dugongs!  It is absolutely amazing!  The islands are well set up for families with campfires around the island for campers and day trippers to use.

Ron and I had a week to ourselves here before Rod, Myfil and Amber came.  We loved it.  We did a recon of the area to map out a rough idea of where to take them as we decided against going to the Ile de Pins as we didn’t want the girls to get seasick.  And there was absolutely no need anyway as there is so much to see without going all that way:)

We stayed on the marina for 2 nights when we first arrived and again when Rod and family arrived in Noumea.  The marina is right beside the fish markets and produce markets.  There is live music in the weekends and the place is buzzing with a very festive air.  A great place to provision the boat although we still need to walk to the supermarket for the rest of the provisions.  It is not too far and I take my trolley cart so don’t have to carry it by hand.  Not a bad life!

Our House batteries which run our 240v system have died.  Rod organised some replacements to be shipped from New Zealand at a good price so we are waiting for them to arrive so we can swap them over.  Rod also sent new cables so it should be a straight forward process.  All going well….

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Santo, Vanuatu to Noumea, New Caledonia 31 August 2015

Crossing from Santo, Vanuatu to Noumea, New Caledonia

After waving off Steve and Trub, Paul and Cush at Aore Resort on the town ferry on Saturday 29 August, Clare, Ron and I prepared for the crossing to Noumea.  The weather window looked good for a fair weather sail - the first one for me!!
Clare’s Birthday - 31 August!  
We anchored Emotion 2 off the Immigration building in Luganville, early Monday morning and Ron dropped me ashore.  A short walk to the commercial wharf to find the Port Harbour Master to pay wharf fees, then the customs office located on the wharf also and lastly back to immigration to obtain clearance.  All clear by 9.00am and ready to set sail.
We had no wind leaving Santo and were fighting a strong current so were down to 4 knots at times in the first couple of hours.Wind picked up around lunch time so we put the jib up and motor sailed at 7.5 knots.  When the wind got up to NE 15 knots we were able to turn off the motors and sail with the main and jib!  Yahoo!
Unfortunately that was the last chance we had to get the main up.  The wind dropped by 1630 and we were in choppy, messy seas with very little wind for the next 8 hours.
A couple of rain squalls early morning 1 September but the day cleared to stunning blue skies and light, variable winds.  1600 presented Clare with a late birthday present:)  Fish on!  And it was a marlin:)  Clare made a valiant effort to bring it in but after an hour of playing we had to make the call to break the line.  We still had 219NM to go and wanted to get inside the reef before dark the following day.
2200 Pacific Dawn passed within 1 NM of us.  Clare was pretty pleased she was not on board!
By 0400 2 September the wind had picked up to 13 knots.  Short waves slapping the wing deck.  Jib up.  Clare spotted Lifou at 0530 and saw out the end of her watch to a beautiful sunrise.
Changed course 0800 to fill the jib.  Wind speed 14 knots, boat speed 8-9 knots.  We were racing to the reef before sunset!
Passed through Yates Pass 1630 and made our way through Woodin Canal in the dark with many vessels on the way.  Had to be very alert on my watch!

We anchored outside Port Moselle Marina at 2352:)  A fast trip and by far the smoothest crossing I have experienced.  I could possibly get used to this!