Thursday, 28 December 2017

Pasage from New Caledonia to New Zealand

Liz has written about this passage here, here and here but here are a few photos:

Navigation lesson before departure.

Removing what we think were squid eggs from the anchor chain before stowing the chain.  That could have been smelly sitting there for a week or so in the chain locker.

We are all heading for the same channel in the lagoon so the commercial traffic come pretty close.

Victoria made slippers for the passage south.  Note the leather from our old turnbuckle covers.

Plotting the noon position

Fluenta time stayed on New Caledonia time so lots of sun early in the morning.

Our tack way east brought us close to a few remote islands.  This is Walpole Island that we passed on Victoria's watch.  These remote islands and reefs are why you need to check the route at the appropriately large scale to see the hazards on the electronic charts.

Sunset or sunrise ...

If you are not on watch you should be sleeping.  It was a bit bouncy as we were close hauled into the steep waves.

More sleeping.

Splash.  Staysail pulling us along nicely

Benjamin on the other hand did not even notice the bouncy weather.  Here he is in a fort he made under the saloon table eating away.

All ready for New Zealand weather.

Arrived.  The last bigger wave knocked in the dodger a bit.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Tourists in Noumea

Of course, we did not spend all of our time out in the lagoon or playing with our toys.  We also tried to remember to be tourists and see and do things a bit in Noumea.

Liz wrote about it here and below are some picture.

The aquarium in Noumea is excellent.  The fun thing is that we have seen many of these fish in their natural habitat but Benjamin normally misses out as he does not snorkel much.  I have seen Napoleon Wrasse quite a few times while snorkeling but have never managed to get a good photo.

Shark ! 

No Benjamin.  That is not lunch.  We spearfish these guys pretty regularly but not at the aquarium.


Victoria with a sting ray.  This is how we normally see them: http://sv-fluenta.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/sting-rays-and-kids-and-more-sharks.html

Mystery solved: Victoria found some of these on the beach.

Hmm ... easier to photograph in the aquarium than while holding your breath underwater:  http://sv-fluenta.blogspot.co.nz/2017/08/efate-underwater-photos.html

We see turtles daily in New Caledonia but these ones were in the aquarium

Making baby Nautilus 

Mandatory cheesy tourist photo.

Cultural Center Visit

Cultural Center Visit - I stayed on Fluenta to try to fix fuel lines.

Visiting the French Gendarme Maritime patrol ship.  They were very welcoming and a bit surprised by the detail of the kids' questions.

Visiting the French Gendarme Maritime patrol ship.   They came by for an inspection of Fluenta to check that we had the required mandatory safety equipment.  Halfway through showing them the equipment they said we could stop as it was clear we are well equipped.

And on the volunteer lifeboat (similar to Coastguard Auxiliary in Canada or RNLI in the UK).  The Noumea Harbourmaster is actually giving us the tour.

And Victoria and Ann making fudge on SV Cavalo

Not in the aquarium but rather trying to get into our dingy.  A rather poisonous but not aggressive sea snake.

Playing the park

Playing the park

and maintenance.  Cleaning the watermaker filters.

and gravity filling propane (actually butane).  Normally I find a nice secluded beach and a tree to hang the French tank from .  A little harder in downtown Noumea.

and what a way to finish off our time in Noumea.  A lovely dinner with James and Chantal of SV Q at their AirBNB before they head back to Montreal.  Thank you again James and Chantal.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Halloween at Baie de Gadji

The kids always look forward to Halloween but often we are somewhere without other kids to celebrate it with.  Not this year !  The anchorage was full of kid boats.

Victoria made this outfit for our little dragon.

Victoria made this outfit for our little dragon.

Victoria and Jaiya making treats for the party. (Tika Photo)

Tasty eyeballs for dinner ! (Tika Photo)

The chefs posing with their creations  (Tika Photo)

BBQ ashore
and one tired little dragon.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Great Gadji Regatta

Russel had the great idea when we were at Gadji to set up a regatta as we had two sailing dinghies and several windsurfers between Fluenta, Tika and Excaliber.  As the handicapping system would be far too difficult to figure out the times were taken by vehicle (i.e. times accomplished by Trickle, by Tika Taka, etc) and the crews switched up regularly which boat or board they were using.  Fluenta or Tika was the committee boat for the start and racers were guided by the horn at 2 minutes, 30 seconds and at the start.

Racers massing at the start between Fluenta and Excaliber

And they are off.

Victoria heading upwind

Johnathan and Jaiya heading towards the windward mark

Johnathan in Trickle

Johnatahan and Jaiya in Tika Taka.

The fleet


Heading downwind to the finish