Baie d'Orphelinat & au revoir Rod & Mary
Wednesday 28th October 2015
Distance run: <1 nmile
We’ve had a couple of minor mishaps over the last few days. First I landed heavily on my left leg when getting into the cockpit and felt something ‘go’ behind and below my knee. It was very painful to move it at all at first, so I have had to take it very easy moving around the boat. Secondly, Steve was making a chicken stew in the pressure cooker, and he thought all the steam had escaped and the pressure gone, but when he opened the lid, stew came exploding out all over the galley, but more worryingly over him. He got a scald twice the size of a fifty pence piece on his stomach, which blistered immediately. In wiping off the hot stew, he took half the blister away, leaving a very raw and open wound. We dressed it immediately with a paraffin dressing to keep out airborne bacteria, and then considered whether he should go to the hospital to get it looked at. We decided we could probably take care of it ourselves, and so would monitor it and if it became painful or started to smell we would seek further help.
So from being ready to leave whenever a decent weather window opened, we decided to wait to see how our injuries settled down. That was a few days ago, and recovery is proceeding well. My knee still hurts if I step on it a certain way or put extra weight on it, but I can now walk without feeling it most of the time, and feel confident it will soon be back to normal. Steve’s scald is still quite raw, though he says it is not sore. There is no sign of infection and less weeping, so we think it’s on the mend. The longer it has to heal before we go to sea the better, but we will not delay just for that if a window opens.
Yesterday afternoon we went for a stroll to buy ice cream, and when we got back to the boat there was a knock from one of the marineros who handed us a slip of paper. It was a request for us to leave our slip by noon tomorrow as they were expecting an influx of boats from offshore and needed the spaces for the boats to check in. We knew this might happen as it was explained to us as one of the conditions of our stay – boats coming in for clearance are given priority on the visitors’ dock, and the boats that have been there the longest are asked to leave to make way for them. We could have done without the inconvenience of getting the dinghy up and down and climbing in and out at the moment, but will just have to manage. Rod and Mary are leaving tomorrow for Bundaberg in Australia, and we cannot miss having ‘bon voyage’ drinks with them at the marina bar, so will have to dinghy back in later.
This morning Steve popped out for a loaf of bread while I tidied the boat a bit. It’s amazing how quickly you get used to being able to just put things down on any surface when you don’t have to worry about the boat rocking them off. Alan and Jean came to help with our lines, and we slipped out of the berth mid-morning. We motored round the point to the bay next door – Baie d’Orphelinat – where we found a suitable spot and dropped the anchor. It was a lot more windy out here, and quite bumpy when motor boats zoomed past at speed, but we were soon settled and decided we would take a run ashore in the dinghy to explore this side of Noumea.
We headed in to the Yacht Club and found David, the OCC Port Officer’s boat. He gave us some useful information about the facilities around this bay, and then we tied up at the Yacht Club office and enjoyed a tasty Plat du Jour in the modern upmarket restaurant. This was more sophistication than we had seen for many a long month! We then went for a stroll to work it off and found the ATM and supermarket we would need if here for long.
Later we dinghied back into the marina and tied up on the stern of Sheer. Apparently we were one of six boats that had left today, and we certainly did not recognise many of the boats there now. We enjoyed our sundowners with Rod and Mary for the last time for some time, as our plans are different. We hope to meet up with them again next April or May, somewhere on the Queensland coast, but that’s too far off to be sure about for now. But we will stay in touch. We have sailed a good many miles together since Grenada. We wished them a safe and comfortable journey to Bundaberg – we’ll miss them.