After an awesome time with the volcano on Tanna it was time to lift anchor and move on. We had a really nice sail to New Caledonia, where we sailed straight to Noumea. We had planned to see more than just Noumea, but ended up staying there until we cast off for Australia. Why did we stay? … Well, it is a great place to socialize.
We met several friends there: Fine Gold (we hadn’t seen Greg and Leisha since Panama) and the crew on Sunboy, whom we had hung out with in Tonga and Tanna. Together with them we had a great poker-night and a night where we enjoyed lobsters and steaks. The mouth waters just thinking about it. We also made some new friends, Josh and his dad being top on the list.
Besides enjoying refreshments in town, we also made a strong effort to polish off most of AI’s liquid stores, since we had heard that Australian customs could be bastards. AI left its mark again on its surroundings: We got complaints about being too loud … I guess they didn’t enjoy didgeridoo … and bagpipes played live … at 3 am.
We worked hard and played hard. There were a few maintenance things we took care of. Chief on that list was fixing the blasted stb engine, and greasing the winches.
We also rented a car and went for a nice drive around the island. It was cool to get out of Noumea and see a bit of the countryside. We stopped at the very impressive waterfall that dwarfs the Victoria Falls.
Yeah, we were “very” impressed and irked that we actually spent money to go and see it. Luckily there were some croc infested rivers that I could wade in, to get my daily dose of extremeness.
The stop in New Caledonia was very enjoyable. It would have been awesome to have more time there, so that we could have explored a bit more by boat, but we had to cast off when the right weather window showed up, so that we could sail to Australia.