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November 2017: Shamal is on the hard in Guatemala.Mum and Dad are home in New Zealand till Jan. 2018. *ATTENTION PLEASE* if you are still interested in receiving the posts, could you please subscribe to the Blog following the two step process in the right hand column, so that new posts are emailed to your inbox. As of next year the reminder emails that are being sent out will cease. Thanks to all of you for following our Adventures.

17 June 2009

Noumea - Isle of Pines - Poindimie

Hello One And All


Well to fill you in on what we are up to. On Tuesday 2nd June we finally upped anchor from our little bay just outside Port Moselle and motored in to clear custom etc. With a little ‘help’ from our new kiwi friends on board “Nutcase” ( Graham and Sandra) parked just outside the Port with us, clearance went very smoothly. Most of our fruit and veges were taken from us - and this we had expected so had run supplies down. We were allowed to keep anything we had cooked!! So potatoes and my kumara were cooked up along with some hard boiled eggs. They let me keep my carrots as well. Then there was our ‘export’ meat, all $300 plus!! The rules have just changed and one is now allowed to bring in meat from NZ and Australia as long as it has the export sticker on it. Thank goodness ours did. “Nutcase” gave us help here! Can’t go into too many details!!

We tied up just opposite and down two boats from another Seawind 1160 “apa lagi” (“what more” in Indonesian) The owners are back in Australia for six months we were told.

So it was then off into town to find a Bank and look for the spare parts for our loo. Parts of the old town were in about the same state as our loo. The harbour smelt like a sewage pond and their system is not working too well in some of the streets. With jobs done it was back to the boat to sort out our problems which the boys thought they had done but realised another trip was needed for more pipe. Dinner that night was in the local car park at these eatery vans. Cheap and very nice. We did a visit to the supermarket for a few supplies to find most things were more than double the price to home, but we were pre warned about this hence all my years of supplies I have onboard!!

The next day with the all jobs finally complete it was off to explore more of Noumea. We walked through the suburbs to a couple of other marinas and bays which were lovely. So there was another side with a little more of a French flare and which was nice and clean thank goodness. We visited the ‘aquarium des lagoons’ which was amazing and we all were hoping we will get to see some of the same once we leave Noumea and visit the reefs and lagoons. All we need at this stage is for the weather to improve.

By Thursday we had walked the town, visited the local markets, eaten out (even if one night was a ‘Big Mac’ for Alec) and done our maintenance cleaning and 5 loads of washing in my little machine – it was sheet day, we filled up with water and fuel – the fuel part took over an hour as the boys did not get the correct paper work from Customs so Alec had to go back and sort that out, THEN finally it was time to leave. Alec and Dave had walked over to Customs Immigration and to see the Port Captain earlier to check out formalities as we were told this is the only Port one can check in and out of in the whole of New Caledonia. Two hours later they returned. We had been given ‘trois’ days to clear the country!! Pity none of us can count in French. We were heading South East, back to the Isle of Pines about 90 miles away. That afternoon we headed down the west coast of the main land and motored into Baie Ngo. It was not dissimilar to being in the Marlborough Sounds back home. The main difference being the hillsides are not covered in lush native bush and beautiful ferns, but a low scrub which is growing over the open cast Nickel mines which have left horrendous scars on the landscape, and are evident all around these bays.

Next morning we only went 14 miles - to the bottom of the mainland where we motored into Baie De Prony, dropped anchor and set of exploring. The sun was out and now things are starting to look more like those glossy brochures depict. Clean clear waters and a few coconut palms among other trees along the shore line. We collected coconuts and walked the reef as it was low tide. We watched a local (Kanak) cleaning octopus which he had just caught on the reef. Then it was back to SHAMAL for our sundowners – hard life!!

Saturday saw us up early and leaving for the Isle of Pines. Usually the winds get up about 10.00 each morning from the wrong direction making sailing impossible but this morning they were from the north and came in early so by 8.30 we were sailing at a lovely 8kts in a 15kt breeze. By just after midday we were anchored in Baie De Kuto – the main village on the Pines having covered the 48nm in just on six hours. That left us the afternoon to explore. We visited the old Prison Ruins and Dave climbed the highest peak for some photos.

Next day we motored around the corner to another beautiful bay and used our new power snorkel for the first time. The coral and fish were lovely but not quite what we had seen in the aquarium. The water temperature was perfect!

Monday saw us heading to the top of the Island negotiating our way through numerous reefs with Dave in the Bosun Chair half way up the mast looking out for coral bommies. We arrived in Baie De Gadji, the most beautiful spot so far. Clean clear waters which reflect the most vivid turquoise as the bottom of this lagoon has such pure white sands. We spent the afternoon exploring the Islets dotted around the bay and snorkelling out on the reef. Now we were seeing the corals and fish we had seen at the aquarium. It was just beautiful.

Tuesday saw us leaving this little spot of Paradise and heading back to the main land and then on up the East coast. We are sitting between two stationary weather fronts which gives us no wind at all so we have to motor. Dave and I got into the tender and motored along the reef for about an hour with the fishing lines out but to no avail. SHAMAL stayed outside. Then we climbed back on board and motored inside to find a spot for the night. We found a place at the entrance to a river mouth at Nahoue. A strange little place where at first we thought no one lived, but after dark lights moved mystically along the shore line and a small motor propelled a vessel in total darkness somewhere out towards the reef. Where Alec started seeing sharks which turned out to be jagged rocks of the partly submerged reef. The sea and sky became one.

Today again we have no wind and it is grey and overcast. We have been following a track along the inside of the reef. It must be the weather as today we have caught fish. The first a big skip jack tuna and then just over an hour later a big fat kingfish. The freezer is full again. Just after we had finished cleaning the fish Alec claimed he saw a shark, and sure enough he was right as we all saw it. I think it was after our fish scraps!! No swimming today!! We are making our way up the coast to a place called Poindimie’ – about 2/3’s of the way up. It will be about day ‘trois’ by the time we have visited there so it is here we will leave for Vanuatu.

So far it is all going well and we are enjoying it all. Well I have gone on for too long as usual so will sign out for this letter. Photos following.

Love to you all

From the Admiral, Captain and our Crew

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