Passing New Caledonia

Tue 24 Nov 2015 21:15
18:49.251S 163:01.507e

Today's been good. We sailed through the Grand Passage to the North of New Caledonia. As soon as we got in the lee of the reefs the swell dropped to half a meter but the wind stayed fresh, up at 20-22 knots, so we sped along really comfortably, with hardly any roll at all. The sea birds came to welcome us: Boobies, Noddies and Petrels, replacing the Shearwaters that have been keeping us company since Vanuatu.

Yesterday wasn't as good. Don't get me wrong, it was a lovely sail: swell nicely behind us sweeping us forwards, wind a lovely 20-25 knots giving us as much speed as we wanted, partly cloudy so not too hot... it's just it was day two of a passage, and that means a general lethargy and woolly headedness, a feeling that you daren't close your eyes because you'd drop off to sleep when you're on watch but then finding you can't sleep when you're off watch, you just roll with each wave and half dream without finding that proper deep restoring sleep.

But today, day three, means we've found our sea legs, and we've learnt how to sleep as soon as we're off watch again. Much better! What's more, day three means it's shower day. Yay!


I should explain. We had provisioned assuming that we would be having three or four months with no access to reliable meat or any access to cheese, and Vanuatu has world renowned delicious beef. We'd also expected to be invited to come and eat with villages. They have fish and some chicken available and, I guess occasionally pigs although they seem to be used more for Kastom ceremonies than for eating, so really appreciate it if visitors bring a meat dish to make a change to their diet. That can use up a kilo of mince each time you're invited. The freezer was completely full. We then changed our plans to go to Australia, which has strict bio-security laws. They don't allow meat in (except tinned) nor dairy products. We gave away three kilos of beef mince, a half kilo of stewing steak, some bacon and deli meats but it still left us with more meat than we're going to be able to eat between now and Oz. So on this passage, we will mostly be eating meat.

Day 1: Supper - risotto with prawns and ham (not sure if Australia allow prawns but I'm not risking it!)

Day 2: Breakfast - fresh raspberries and weet-bix (we can't manage meat three times a day!); lunch - boat-made-burgers and salad; a Jester's pepper steak pie, brought frozen all the way from New Zealand!

Day 3: Breakfast - Bananas and raisin toast; Lunch - roasted chicken wrapped in bacon (two lots of meat at one time!)with potatoes and snake bean;

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