A bash into the wind to the Iles des Pins

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Sat 1 Nov 2014 02:07

Position           22:39.56S 167:26.44E

Date                1200 (UTC +11) Thursday 23 October 2014


Distance run – 39.9nm over the ground, 39.7nm through the water

Time from Baie Carenage –6hrs 30mins


With a forecast of slightly lighter head winds and the fact that the trade winds in the early morning sometimes do not blow as hard we were off at 0530 into a glorious dawn for the 40nm mile bash to the Iles des Pins.



The Iles des Pins, discovered in 1774 by Captain James Cook and he named the island after the tall native pines.  The French took possession of the island in 1853 and converted the native Kanaks to the Catholic religion.  In 1872 the island became a penal colony and was home to over 3,000 deportees from the Paris Commune revolt – think Les Miserables.


The suffering of the penal colony are long gone, although the remains of buildings and infrastructure survive as a testament to the fact that hell can exist in paradise.


The island and its surrounding reefs are now a popular holiday destination of both yachtsmen and hotel guests who arrive by ferry or aeroplane.

Looking west up the Wooding Channel with the dawn behind us.  The benefits of an early start


The route was littered with reefs and small islands.  This little charmer just off Iles des Pins rejoices under the name of Ilot Infernal, possibly a referral back to convict days


The anchorage at Baie Kuto, Iles des Pins


We managed to sneak Caduceus well in and anchored in 4 metres.  The red roofed building in the background was the former Penal Colony Governor’s residence


After the treat of a beer ashore dinner was a barbequed chicken and another dose of Downton Abbey.  Series 4 is certainly dark, we see what the critics meant.  Roll on Series 5 and sunshine.