Noumea is “superb” (spoken with french accent!)
The sun is shining, the place is buzzing and we are loving the French ambience!
Early most mornings, I walk to the local boulangerie to pick up crusty baguettes we enjoy with local made banana jam, after the obligatory red papaya squeezed with fresh limes. Yuuummm!
I just love going to the open markets just near the marina each morning to buy fresh fish or fruit & vegetables & try out my rusty french! Food prices are high, but luckily we don’t need to buy anything but fresh produce- Having said that, we can’t help but enjoy splurging on a few treats! The nearby supermarket is a fascinating place full of unfamiliar products and a range of cheeses and cold meats that boggles the brain, and empties the pocket!
Frank has been busy working on a few problems on the yacht- battery issues, replacing broken boom vang fitting and investigating why our radio does not transmit as clearly as it should, particularly over short range. There always seems to be something that we need to track down in the town that forces me to practise more of my french.
We had a great day of sightseeing with friends from the marina on Thursday- a group of 15 of us, in a convoy of 4 cars, we took the 2 hr long, winding scenic route across the southern part of the island to the little town of Yate, where we had a wonderful meal in a restaurant overlooking the ocean.
Our drive passed through the ‘Parc Provincial de la Riviere Bleue in the Grande Terre region- a rugged landscape of tall peaks rich with vibrant red soil, due to the oxidised metal-rich soil. It creates- an unusual landscape of desert-like almost lunar sites.
After a wonderful 3 course lunch and a swim, we drove back by the faster main road you can see on the map above.
Note- you can see the Passe du Dumbea (in red print just near the Noumea mark) that we sailed through in order to pass through the reef into Noumea.
Back on the marina, we continue to enjoy talking to all the other ‘yachties’ here on the marina from many varied countries & walks of life- cruising to and from world wide destinations on a variety of sailing yachts and catarmarans.
We even have another Freedom ’39, ‘Fyne Spirit’, moored a few yachts from us- an English built one. Her owners, Mike & Jane, have sailed her from New Zealand. We have enjoyed comparing notes and checking out the slight differences in the layout of our two yachts.
The sunsets here are awesome and Friday was the first day of overcast weather. A good chance to get some paperwork done! The internet access on the marina is atrocious, so you find a crowd of ‘yachties’ all congregated around the bench just outside the office at all times of day and night to better access the wifi! I have found a free public wifi near the markets which necessitates sitting there amongst the noisy crowds with my trusty laptop & hard drive for an hour or so.
We will clear out of customs here by Thursday of next week, and start our journey towards Vanuatu. We will head south to the southern end of New Caledonia and sail through the Havannah Passage, and make for the southern most island of Aneityum where we hope to clear in.
Once in Vanuatu, it is highly unlikely we will have internet coverage for me to be able to email let alone post on my blog, so Fiji will probably be the next time I will be able to update this site.