Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Noumea South to Isle of Pines

Friday 19th June
We made our final departure from Noumea this morning after an early start to collect fresh fruit and veges from the local market.

Chloe is a young lady who helps out visiting yachties with clearances and money exchange. She picked up our passports and papers this morning as well as delivering some Vanuatu currency which we could not get as we don’t have an airline boarding pass or local bank account!

We had a great run South East down the lagoon for 30 miles to Proney Bay, the last 10 mile under 1 reef and no.3 headsail, where we picked up a mooring at Isle De Casey.
one of the many abandoned houses
 This is a 40 hectare island with an abandoned resort, lovely beaches and forest walks and a resident guide- a dog! who is the only resident on the island. He greets every boat and takes the crew on a guided tour- I kid you not! In return the visiting yachties supply him with tasty treats. He waits on the jetty for the new arrivals.

On our arrival we walked the track around the island and caught up with Darren and Chris and boys from Freyer. Our sundowners on the jetty were interrupted by a shower of rain so it was back to the boat for the rest of the evening
Saturday 20th June
As usual we were up at sunup and made a quick trip ashore to feed the pooch his breakfast then let him take us on a walk.
 He soon tired of us when we returned to the jetty as a large school of fish was sitting below the walkway and, if they are big enough he will dive in to grab one. Apparently he had eaten too much breakfast because today he just stood there staring at the fish below.

We were underway by 8.30 for the 40 mile trip to L'Isle Des Pins (Isle of Pines). This is usually a bash to windward into the trade winds but we were lucky as there is a lull at present and we motor sailed the distance in a North Easterly of less than 10 knots and smooth seas.

The Isle of Pines is an island of about 150sq km with a population of 1900. There are two easy bays to sail to which have good shelter from the prevailing trade winds and these are also the main tourist destination with half a dozen resorts scattered around the edge of the bays.

We dropped anchor at 2.00pm and quickly had a swim off the back of the boat then a shower as we were both feeling the heat. The inside of the boat is now 27 and the water temp 24 degrees. This is what we came for!

After lunch we checked out a couple of the resorts and enjoyed sundowners at the bar on the beach next to the anchorage.

We have started a 6.00pm sched running on 4483 with other Aussie boats and tonight we had 6 starters all logging in with their positions and chat. HF is great for this type of comms.

 Sunday 21st June
Up early as usual and hired a couple of bikes so we could see a bit of the island.

Outboard in need of a service!
The ride is along the Southern coastal strip and our destination was Ova about 7 km away where we checked out the local church service and some of the spectacular scenery.

Monday 22nd June

The highlight was catching up with Jeff Gordon who spotted us in the bay and rode a bike 20k to have morning tea on board with us. We hadn’t seen Jeff for many years and were school mates many years ago

After lunch we set sail for the island of Lifou which is the middle of the three main islands in the group. This was a very easy 100 mile downwind sail with the speed kept low so we would arrive in daylight.


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