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ADDITIONS TO THE BLOG as of April 2017: Shamal and her Crew being Mum and Dad are in the Cayman Islands * Should you want to contact us, you can do so by clicking on the Contact Us tab below. * PLEASE subscribe to the Blog, so that new posts are emailed to your inbox.



03 June 2009

Opua to Noumea

 Hello to you all out there


Well with all jobs done, our crew of Dave and Kathy settled into the guest cabin, custom formalities all completed and a lovely fresh coffee from the new marina cafe, at 1030 we motored out from Opua on a lovely sunny but cool winters morning on Leg one – heading for Noumea. We then motored for the nearly 20 hours with not enough puff to raise a sail. The seas were calm with hardly a ripple. So much for the Bob McDavitt’s Voyage Forecast in which he said we would have SSW winds of 15kts. Alec said he owes him 50Lts of diesel!!! Then just after 0700 the next morning when we were off the top of North Cape we were able to raised the sails with the wind increasing to a good 20kt from the SE. At last we were on our way. Squalls have been about most days, until today - day 6 – but nothing to worry about. The strongest gust in those squalls was 30kts and only lasted a few minutes.


You may well ask what we do with our time when out on a passage like this. Well I can tell you this trip we have had plenty to fill in the time. First our radar decided to have a little hiccup. It decided one evening it didn’t want to work anymore. But as with electrical stuff if you sometimes turn it off and leave it alone for a while it will miraculously works again. Alec had his books out reading up on it and he and Dave had an in depth discussion on it. So that took up time. The conclusion they came to was when our battery bank falls too low the radar cuts out. All sorted once we started the engine and let them recharge for a while. Our new wind generator does not work very well when we are running down wind – that is with the wind nearly behind us. Lovely point of sailing but no good for charging.

Another job that kept us all busy was our loo blocked up!! Oh help I would not wish this on any one. After two stops each of a couple of hours, and one with Dave going over the side to try from the outside, we discovered a valve had all calcified up. Not Pretty. We need some extra pipe so that is a job which will be completed once we get into Noumea. I can tell you there was plenty of cleaning and washing done with that job.

Then there was our fishing. Yes there are fish out there unlike our Tasman crossing. We pulled in a beautiful Mahimahi a good 4 foot long. We were all so excited. It was pulled on board and processed and in the freezer - apart from what we kept out for a couple of meals – and the boat all cleaned up in record time. At least it was all over for the poor thing as it did would not know what had hit it!

Another little bit of excitement was when Kathy spotted a buoy floating by. So around we turned and picked it up. At the moment it is tied up the front. We may be able to use it for trading with a local fisherman for some fruit or coconuts!!

This time we were not alone here in the ‘big blue’. Alec had a big cargo ship pass us when he was on night watch so called him up on the radio to have a chat. He was on his way to Wellington. Then the first day that we were having loo problems there was another yacht that came over the horizon then passed us. Well as we were stopped this was a bit much for the boys, so once we were underway again we had to pay catch up. Which we did and had a chat to them on the radio. They were a German couple who left Opua the day before us and were also heading for Noumea. We then sailed on ahead of them much to Alec’s delight.

Sunday 31st. May

Well we have made it. Here we are sitting at anchor in a small bay just outside the Marina. It is after 11 am and Customs are closed for the day so we are unable to clear. Looks like we will have to wait till the morning. It has taken us exactly seven days. We did slow down so as to arrive just outside the reef in daylight plus there were those other stops. All in all it was a very good trip. We all enjoyed it. The sea conditions were very good. So now Alec and I have done our second ‘blue water’.

Monday 1st. June

This morning a kiwi couple came over and had coffee with us and told us the procedures here, and also that today is a Public Holiday would you believe!!!! We have been told so many different stories as to how things are done here that the boys have decided to take NASEEN – the tender - ashore and find out for themselves. Now they are back and yes it is a holiday and yes we are meant to stay on board till we are cleared and yes we could lose a lot of our ‘fresh’ supplies, and all that beautiful NZ meat, so we are doing a huge cook up at the moment!!!

First impressions of this Tropical Paradise – well the sun is trying to shine through heavy grey clouds which are dumping on us every so often. The seas are not that aqua blue in this bay and the beach is stony not beautiful white sands!! Palm trees – well few and far between, but in saying all this we are more or less in the Port area which usually not the pretty part of any town. As we were coming in we did see a little of the above and once the weather has settled and we head off exploring we will in no doubt anchor in some of those beautiful bays. Can’t wait.

OK will sign out for this note.

Love to you all

The Admiral, Captain and our wonderful Crew

1 comment:

  1. Give it heaps guys, Totally envious of yer adventure. You are an inspiration to us all. Rachel and Bruce

    ReplyDelete