September 28, 2008
We are anchored in Baie de Pade on the island of Mare (Loyalty Islands). We arrived yesterday (Saturday) afternoon at 3:15 pm local time after a 14 hour passage from Lifou Island. Thursday evening, a swell from the north rolled into Baie de Doking in Lifou and worsened on Friday. The wind was still ESE in Lifou so we took the swell on the beam which makes the boat roll uncomfortably. The forecast called for wind shifting to northerly, but it was slow in coming. We planned to leave Lifou for Mare on Friday but the wind stayed ESE and it rained. Since Mare lies to the ESE of Lifou, that would make for an unpleasant day of motoring. So we took the kayak out to explore the cliffs and caves, and then went to bed early hoping to leave very early Saturday morning. Just before 1:00 am the anchor alarm went off. I rushed outside to find that the wind had shifted from the north and the boat had merely turned on the anchor, and that the rain had ended. I downloaded new weather info and then woke Laura. By 2:00 am we started to raise our anchor. The anchor chain was caught on coral, and because of the dark so we could not see enough to figure out which way to turn to free our chain. After 20 minutes of maneuvering, the chain and anchor were retrieved and we were off. It was an easy passage with a mix of sailing and motoring. We were constantly looking out for whales, which are said to spend September in these waters, but were disappointed to not see any. Baie de Pade looks very pretty and is much more protected from swell than Baie de Doking. One great advantage of stopping in Mare is that it will make it much easier to get to Ile de Pines which lies pretty much due south of here.