Checked out and ready to go
Friday 30th October 2015
Distance run: <1 nmile
It seems that a weather window is opening for the trip down to Newcastle tomorrow, and so yesterday we called the marina and asked if they had any spaces for us to come in and check out. They called us back later and said we could go in to slip A24. This was excellent news as it would make checking out so much easier. So we lifted the anchor and made our way back to the visitors’ dock.
This morning Steve got out the bike for the long ride round to Immigration, then Customs and finally the Port Captain who would give us our final clearance papers to leave New Caledonia. He was back by late morning with all formalities completed, and we set about making preparations to go to sea. The passage to Newcastle is about 1,000 nmiles heading more or less south west from Noumea. It should take 7-8 days.
By early afternoon, however, the weather forecast seemed to have taken a change for the worse in the latter part of the passage, and we were undecided about leaving. The problem with forecasting 7-8 days ahead is that there is too much uncertainty whether things will change or stay the same. With a passage of this length, we would not know conditions for the last few days until we had already left. Eventually we decided we did not like the look of it as currently forecast, and postponed.
We checked the situation regarding having already checked out. We had three days to leave, so if we were still here on Monday Steve would have to go and speak to Customs, and possibly check back in. A nuisance, but all it costs is time, so no real problem.