The last leg

Fri 3 Nov 2023 03:31
24 12.08S 164 05.66E
New Caledonia to Australia

We departed the lovely little island of Amedee off New Caledonia at 05.30 on the 2nd November for Coffs Harbour, Australia. We had a great few nights there but got a bit spooked by the large population of sea snakes that would come ashore for sunset. One boat had one crawl into their tender whilst it was pulled up on the beach for sun downers…they only noticed when they were motoring back to their boat and saw something slithering!

This will be our final leg before we put the good ship Moonshiner up for sale and head down to Tasmania by road. The forecast is for light south easterlies on the beam so we won’t be breaking any passage records but hope for a nice calm sea and beam reach.
We set off with 2 other yachts, both 49ft. One is a heavy displacement ketch and one a light weight Jeanneau. We are all fairly equally matched, when the wind drops, the Jeanneau edges ahead, if we get more than 10kts, we edge ahead. The Jeanneau has now put their motor on and steamed ahead leaving us and the ketch to battle it out under sail. It’s nice to sail in company for a change and another boat further along has organised a quiz via email for a group of us.
It’s 850nm to Coffs Harbour but we’ll be fairly slow with this wind so we anticipate arriving Wednesday/Thursday.
It’s just coming into cyclone season in the pacific so we’ll be pleased to arrive into safe waters. We just heard of a guy being rescued off his yacht in a storm off NZ so there are some nasty systems close by.

Immigration in Oz is notoriously difficult, particularly with bio security so we are currently eating our way through the rest of the fresh fruit/veg/dairy and meat to avoid confiscation.

For now, we are having a lovely sail racing the ketch with a light breeze forward of the beam doing 6kts. Loads of French cheese to eat up so happy days!