Wed 7 Sep 2011 05:11
22.16 S 166.26 E
After an overnight sail from Anatom, we entered Havannah Pass, the SE entrance through the reef surrounding the island of Noumea. The tide had just commenced going out which gave us half a mile of one metre seas and overfalls which was very interesting! We anchored off a lovely sandy beach just inside Baie de Prony on the southern coast before proceeding to Port Moselle Marina in Noumea the following day. Weather continued to be cool, jeans and warm sweaters out of mothballs!
The Pan Pacific Games are taking pplace here in New Caledonia, so there is a lot happening all around the islands.
We decided to fly to Isle of Pines, so took off early sunday morning, spent the night and returned to Noumea monday night. Just after arriving, as we were walking along the beach, we were told by the very excited Gendarmerie to "get to high ground right now - tsunami coming!" We watched with interest as we walked back to our accomodation as everyone disappeared off the beach, stalls were closed up, tourists were bused away from the hotel right on the beach and cars raced in all directions! We got back to our hotel and no one seemed at all worried there, we asked if we would be taken to higher ground and were met with vague looks - now this wasn't five star accomodation, I imagine you are getting the picture! Anyway, a young english speaking girl then told us that the danger was over, there had been an earthquake near Vanuatu. We didn't hear any more about it, nor did we see or hear anything on the news - all a mystery! The isle of Pines is a very small, quiet island, and it seemed to us there were very few tourists at any of the hotels and those were predominantly Japanese. We did see some beautiful bays, and several cruising yachts at anchor, too cold to get in the water for us!
Have again run into people heading to Australia, so as usual, good to catch up.
The weather for our passage to Brisbane is not looking good until early next week - there is a nasty looking Low pressure system heading up the coast of NSW, so we will wait for the next high, until the SE trades set in again.
Graeme and Kathryn arrived last night, we will probably head north along the coast tomorrow for a couple of nights and return here to the marina at the weekend to prepare for our departure.