Clearing into New Caledonia at Noumea
Position 22:16.79S 166:25.91E
Date 0820 (UTC +11) Monday 20 October 2014
Distance run – 3.9nm over the ground, 3.8nm through the water
Time from Ilot Maitre –35mins
Well I said it was not far!
Chart of Noumea with the important sites (sights?) marked
An early start and a somewhat windy anchorage off the Port Moselle Marina in Noumea meant that I was able to hit the ground just after 0900 for the dreaded inbound clearance experience. New Caledonia has some draconian looking rules about biosecurity with lurid tales of searches and confiscation eagerly retold on the cruiser rumour network. Sound advice said anchor off, do not go into the marina, and walk around the offices rather than get them to come to you was a method for minimising the hassle. Quite correct, and it worked; by 1130 after a 4km hike the job was done and I was back at the boat. En route I had met up with Manfred from Tulasi and Karl-Heinz from Circe both who had been in the marina for six weeks, Manfred and Anneliese having spent time ashore in a hotel and Karl-Heinz and Annette having been back to Germany for a month. I also saw Trillium but there was no sign of Sherry and Dennis. Firefly had managed to get a berth but that committed them to a stay of three days.
We made an expedition for shopping and found that the Casino supermarket on the quay was well stocked and about the same cost as Tahiti.
Recovering from the shopping expedition we decided to spend the night at anchor off the marina as there was no available space for a single night and determined to escape to less crowded surroundings the following day. Coming back to a busy city was quite a shock to the system.