Noumea to New Zealand – Days 1
We have had a wonderful season in the South Pacific islands but the cyclone season is coming and it’s time to head south. I’ve got lots of diary entries to write up for the website when we get back to NZ.
We left from Noumea in New Caledonia early Monday morning 24th October, after the Rugby. New Caledonia is French territory so it was an interesting evening. The rally was invited to the CNC yacht club to watch the game. There were 2 other Brits, about half a dozen Americans, a couple of Canadians and about 30 kiwis on one side of the room and the French on the other. The kiwis had brought in the flags off their boats and some painted their faces. When the French scored a try I thought the roof was going to cave in with the noise, which was just as bad when the All Blacks scored. The last 10 minutes or so were very tense when the All Blacks were trying to keep possession of the ball and when the final whistle was blown the kiwis went mad. The French took it very well and shook our hands but the town was very quiet that evening without the repeat of the fireworks we had had the previous week when they won the semi final.
Day 1 We left from 22 17.1 south 166 25.9 east
We had checked out of customs on the Friday so we were clear to leave first thing in the morning. We lifted the anchor at 6am but then put our clocks forward 2 hours to bring us in line with NZST. It was a sunny day but the forecast 22 knots was nearer 28kts. We motor sailed and sailed the 3 hour passage across the lagoon out to the Amedee light house which marks the edge of the reef. The waves were breaking across the reef at either side of us. Once outside the depth dropped off to more than 200 metres quite quickly so the depth sounder immediately went into a sulk. The wind was cleaner once we were clear of the little islands and reefs inside the lagoon and the sea more settled. The wind was coming from the ESE and we were heading south east – so we were facing an 892 mile beat, oh deep joy, I loooovvveee passage making.