Exploring Noumea

Saturday 24th October 2015

 

We are now busy watching the weather forecasts and readying the boat for Australia.  The quarantine rules are quite stringent as they understandably want to keep their shores free of pests, so we’ve been going through the boat tidying lockers and checking for signs of bugs, cleaning up and clearing out as we go along.  They will also want to see anything made of wood, grasses, shells etc., and to make sure that we are not carrying in any soil on things like shoes, bicycle tyres and even in the hoover.  They are also keen that boats do not bring in marine wildlife on their hulls, and so tomorrow we will take the boat round to a nearby bay to scrub her bottom.

 

One job that I had put off for too long was mending the ensign.  Before leaving Vanuatu I noticed that one of the corners had some threads hanging and was beginning to look a bit worn.  By the time we arrived here, it had whipped itself around so much it had literally tied itself in knots.  Proof that the old saying, “A stitch in time saves nine” is absolutely true, even if not exactly accurate – in this case a stitch in time would probably have saved nine hundred!  Serves me right.

 

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The poor ensign arrived here looking a little worse for wear.                        Impossible to untangle, I cut this knot off!

 

Between jobs, we’re enjoying being so close to the town – every morning Steve walks up to get a fresh baguette for breakfast and lunch, and the municipal market is just along the shorefront for fresh fish, seafood, fruit and veg.

 

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Along the shorefront where the trip boats moor.                                              The fresh fish market, just at the end of the quay.

 

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Inside the fish market.                                                                                                   Imagine trying to land this on our aft deck!

 

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Next door is the fruit and vegetable market.

 

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In between is the handicraft market and cafe.                                                    The outdoor market appears when a cruise ship is in.

 

We are trying to eat up food stores on the boat, but with all this delicious food on offer, it is difficult to resist!

 

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I couldn’t resist trying out the delicious pastries.                                                Steve preparing fresh prawns.

 

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We even visited the Golden Arches.

 

Being in the marina means that it is easy to go for a stroll in town to stretch our legs and explore further.

 

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The visitors’ dock at Port Moselle Marina.                                                            The old girl taking a well-earned rest.

 

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Gardens along the quayside.                                                                                      An ugly memorial.

 

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A small park near the waterfront celebrates the indigenous Kanak peoples and their culture.

 

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A Kanak carving.                                                                                              A memorial to the abolition of slavery.

 

I have occasionally felt a little uncomfortable in some parts of the town, and read up a little on the history of the island.  It seems that until the 1940’s the indigenous people, the Kanaks, were made to live on reservations.  Only in 1946 were they granted citizenship of New Caledonia,  receiving voting rights in 1953.   My discomfort pales into insignificance.