About Us

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We work as ecotourism guides (as well as biologist and boat captain) often on the BC Coast, but also as far ranging as the Arctic and Antarctic. We have an insatiable curiousity for the planet; all its hidden gems and what makes them tick. That and our love of sailing is what inspired us to sail around the Pacific in Narama, our tough and pretty little sailboat.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dodging Weather in New Caledonia

We are glad we made use of the first few weeks here, as lately a couple of troughs have passed through forcing us to sit out wind and rain in protected anchorages.

After Île des Pins (70nm SE of Noumea) we spent another two weeks exploring Baie de Prony, where there were lots of protected bays.  If we had not run out of food we would have stayed longer… amazing snorkeling on the entrance reef and at Ilot Casey; great walking in several placest; penal colony ruins; and hot springs that were tepid but relaxing for a soak.  Rivers or streams seemed to run from every valley, so we had a good supply of washing water and with a few other boats around we shared some hospitality.   As we sailed off the anchor one day a few Tasmanians that had chartered a boat offered us some extra milk and bread.  This turned into an amusing sail into fluky winds and food tossing contest.  Only one milk had to be retrieved from the water. 

Returning to our favourite anchorage (Baie des Citrons) near Noumea harbour, we used the easy access to food, water and internet.  The beach has a huge buoyed area for swimming which is very popular from dawn till dusk.  We have also had many swims and made use of the beach showers.  Even though the outside temperature has dropped, the sea water is still about 25C, so it’s very pleasant.

While in Noumea we also visited the Museum of New Caledonia and Tjibaou Cultural Centre.  By good luck, the later coincided with the Pacific Arts Festival; so our day was full of entertainment of both traditional and modern music and dance.  Added to the art, architecture and displays it made for a most interesting day. 

We have sat out the last two troughs in an inlet 10 nm north of Noumea that has many bays to move around as the wind shifts.  Most of the land is private and we were warned that some was used for hunting, but walking the forshore at low tide seems ok.  If it wasn’t we would maybe go a little stir-crazy sitting onboard. The biggest mishap during all this was Stephen inadvertently letting the dinghy drift off in a strong breeze after emptying the water.  Not sure how, but in the few seconds it took to realize the only way to get it back was a swim and then a rapid strip, the distance rapidly increased. Having been warned some non-reef shark species inhabit these bays, it was a quick 100m.

We are now back in Noumea and saw another dugong on our way here this morning!  We are waiting for the right weather to head to Vanuatu.  It will likely be early next week. 

We hope that not many more of these troughs pass as Vanuatu has less all round protected anchorages. 

As the end of this voyage looms on the horizon we set plans in motion for storing the boat and work back in Canada.  We feel like we have slowed down.  There has been more quiet time in the last few weeks to reflect, read and relax.  Is this because we are savouring our last bit of “freedom” or have we reached a saturation point of new places?  Whatever it is, we are happy to soak in life at a slower pace for a while in preparation for busier times ahead.

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