29.9. - 22.11.2015
A Taste of New Caledonia
After a lovely two day layover the wind changed
in our favor so
we proceeded at a fast but comfortable pace to New Caledonia,
at least till the very end
when our spinnaker was stuck up in 25knts of wind and we were
headed toward a
reef! A dramatic end to our very pleasant passage (we did
finally manage to
winch the sock down).
spinnaker ride inside the big lagoon along the
beautiful coast – til we reached 25kn apparent wind.
Citrons, just south of Nouméa.
just 3nm and a 30min sail away from Nouméa.
We quite enjoy New Cal
(except food and booze is pretty expensive) and have spent a
seven weeks here. It was a bit chilly the first month so all
our wind and rain
protection around the cockpit was up but the start of November
winds and a more comfortable water temperature and now it’s
actually hot today!
on windy weekends.
out the action cam, attached to the kite, 25m high the
air. Mainland in the background.
in at the capital, Noumea, late
September we have not ventured too far. There are a
couple of small islets close by, inside the huge
lagoon surrounding the also huge island. Fantastic for
kiting, swimming, snorkeling and exercises on the
beach in the morning. Much of the lagoon and its
islets is a marine reserve. As a result coral reefs
are exceptionally beautiful and fish and sea birds
abound. The fish, including many snappers and
groupers, have little fear (nobody pointing a spear
gun at them!) and can almost be fed by hand.
our exercises on the beach a Japanese wedding
photographer was checking out the location – and asked
if he could take some pics of me..?
He must be a professional J
cleaning a tuna I found a school of about 20 very large
snappers and many jacks
(one a grand daddy) hovering under the boat hoping for another
abundance is an amazing and a rare sight these days.
3 miles from one of these islands lies the Dumbéa pass where
great surfing can
be found in the right conditions. When I finally got used to
the very fast left
break, I caught some fantastic rides! Fortunately my knee is
getting more flexible
and I could get up fast enough this time around instead of
getting pounded in
the big and fast reef breaks. Usually, there were also six or
more locals there
and it was a real pleasure and surprise to find them all super
Normally locals are very protective of their breaks and shun
and (or worse)
outsiders. It’s been very windy most of the time though and
much more suitable
for kiting. I would have loved to kitesurf the big waves in
the pass but was
smart enough not to push my limits too far.
Many fish and sea
birds and stunning sunsets.
Also lots of
turtles, this one swimming by 1m from the boat on a
calm clear morning.
– nice beach at low tide – not much of it left at high
friends insisted on dressing up for a Halloween BBQ –
with a guessing game.
Did you see the anchor the lady on the right is
dragging? And the crown makes her a queen, right?
other night Iris and I were watching a movie when we heard a
noise. I thought
it was just a small wave splashing against the hull but when
Iris got up to
check we could see a little sail boat drifting by our stern
with all the cabin
lights on but nobody home. We launched the dinghy and went to
runaway boat. Fortunately the key was in the ignition so we
were able to return
her and managed to find one free mooring in this very dark
night. We secured
the wayward boat and told the boat just in front what happened
in case he saw
the owner coming back. The young Chilean owner came over later
that night and
was super thankful that his boat was still on the same mooring
and not lying on
the outer reef! He even brought us over a bottle of wine and a
sauce next day before sailing off. He had to get back to his
work. He lives
with a tribe in Kone and teaches music.
Musket Cove in Fiji
we had a similar experience when a 50 something foot sloop
dragged anchor and
slammed broadside into our bows. We were anchored about 10 m
protective reef so I was a bit worried the combined weight
would cause our
anchor to drag leaving both boats upon the reef as the wind
25+knts! We climbed aboard and started the engine and very
cruisers in their dinghies came over to help. With both of
them pushing they
were able to push the boat’s bow off Andromeda just enough so
I could maneuver
her away and clear our anchor chain. A big relief!
It took a few tries before we got the anchor to hold again in
300 m across the bay. We stopped by the next day to tell the
happened. He hadn’t even realized his boat drifted at all and
that his stations
were a bit bent from our spinnaker pole - just thought
something was a little
funny about where she was anchored!
visitor at my shady yoga spot.
wildlifeis not too wild here.J
Another way to
‘walk’ your dog when you live on the water… Not sure
if he looks happy or not…?
had planned to sail on to Australia
but decided to leave Andromeda here for the cyclone season.
still having problems with very tight muscles causing constant
much pain a lot of the time.
worked extremely hard on my rehab but it seems that every time
I’m making good
progress something happens that sets me back again.
is also the reason we have not ventured too far and decided to
here. Fortunately, we found a yard that can haul Andromeda out
of the water and
store her on the hard so we are now busy getting everything
there’s quite a bit to do to prepare her for a possible
cyclone, even stored
out of the water. It will take us about a week at a relaxed
pace with some fun
in between. I am a bit limited in what I can do and Iris as
has been fantastic
about taking on the majority of the work.
know what some might be thinking, but kiting and surfing
actually helps my back
as long as I don’t stay up too long and don’t try too many
arrived. The yard is not much bigger than you can see.
Raoul and his family live in the little house on the
I had to drive
onto this hydraulic trailer with inflatable airbags on
top to cushion the lift, works well.
fly the 22nd to Brisbane,
and will visit friends
at the Gold Coast. Then on December 2nd Iris flies to Hamburg
for Xmas and I carry on to Cape Town
where Iris will meet after Xmas.
Yet one more
lovely sunset, Iris has so many captured!