It’s Friday, October 24th and we are now in Noumea, the capitol city of New Caledonia. We are on a dock for the first time since we left Opua, New Zealand six months ago. We left Ile des Pines a week ago and had a beautiful 45 mile sail to Baie Uie where we spent 2 nights. The sail took us past a few reefs and tiny islands (all accurately charted) and through a gorgeous channel (Canal Woden) which flows between the mainland of Grande Terre (the name used to describe the big island of New Caledonia) and the outlying island – Ile Ouen. We had heard that the chop and the currents in the channel could be daunting, but the winds were light and we had the current running with us and it was fantastic. Really a beautiful passage.
The weather turned nasty once we tucked into Baie Uie and we just stayed on the boat, watching movies for a day, waiting for the weather to clear to finish the sail to Noumea. On Monday we sailed in to Port Moselle in Noumea . A couple of large dolphins swam and dove around the boat for a while as we neared the entrance to the harbor. Noumea is a busy place, with hundreds of sailboats at the docks and out in the anchorages. It is a good sized town – much bigger than any we have been in on this trip. We keep running into other sailers that we know – which is a lot of fun. We have a couple of friends here who we have been trying to catch up to all year, but our paths never crossed until now.
We are really enjoying being on the dock – there is a fantastic fruit and vegetable market right next to us – coffee shops, patisseries, restaurants, stores. It is very much a French island and the food is all wonderful. We could easily eat every meal out if it weren’t so expensive! We have been visiting with friends, doing boat chores, doing a little shopping, and getting ready to have the boat hauled on Monday in order to do a small repair.
We will probably be heading to Australia within 10 days!