Cool Running… in New Caledonia.

Cool Runnings arrived in November in New Caledonia, after the 1,100 miles passage from Tonga, which took them 8 days, the longest (in miles) since their 3,000 mile Pacific crossing. 

After a day or two, our little unit of 4 got into a good rhythm of passing the time on passage : eating, sleeping, sailing and navigating. On the whole, we had good winds and the seas were not too rough. When the mountains of New Caledonia appeared on the horizon early on the morning, we were excited to firstly, be able to drop anchor again, and secondly, explore another beautiful destination. But it would take us almost the whole day to get to the city of Nouméa, from when we entered the pass through the reef that surrounds this island.  New Caledonia, with this surrounding protective reef, plays host to the world’s largest lagoon, and Nouméa is the only place you can clear into this beautiful and diverse land. After we took care of restocking, a sail repair, and some other necessities, we headed out to Ile de Pins, stopping the first night at a beautiful little island called Amedee. Amedee has a beautiful old metal lighthouse. The metal components were made in Paris in 1862 and the lighthouse was opened on Amedee in 1865. A walk around Amedee introduced us to the many sea snakes common to New Caledonia; we counted at least 20 on our short walk around the island! They are extremely venomous, but their fangs are so far back in their mouths, that they can't bite humans (or so we were told!). A beautiful sail in New Caledonia's southern lagoon led us to the north of Ile de Pins. We edged our way through a shallow gap into one of the most beautiful anchorages we'd ever seen! We snorkeled on some of the most pristine coral we'd ever seen, and enjoyed playing on our private beach.  It was very difficult to tear ourselves away from this little piece of paradise! Ile de Pins, as many of these islands, was originally used as a penal colony. One of our stops was the old prison with it's thick stone walls, and remnants of the tiny cells. We also saw beautiful caves that were used by the local Kanak people, beautiful St. Joseph's bay where they still build and sail the local outriggers, and drove through Vao, the only little town (more of a village) on the island.  All in all, a great day's outing.

Boat :             Lagoon 400

Who :             Captain Dave, First Mate Guds, Swab Ben, Swaby Gaby

Where :         New Caledonia, South Pacific Ocean

Blog :   

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