Posted by: Carol | January 10, 2011

Hi from Nouvelle-Calédonie

Jan 2011

11 Tues

Mike missed his birthday this year so I guess he’s on hold for 2011;)  We left Tucson on Sunday Jan 9, slept aboard our Air New Zealand 747 as we crossed the International Dateline, and now it’s morning Jan 11. Another hour until we land in Auckland, a quick connection to our next flight, and by 9:15 am we should be landing in Noumea, the capital city of New Caledonia.

The day before our scheduled departure we discovered our cars had been burglarized overnight in our carport so instead of last minute packing we were distracted by filing a police report, forensics including fingerprinting, and securing the premises in case of a repeat attempt. At the same time the deputies were inundated by an incoming flood of 911s regarding the horrific shootings in Tucson of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and others. In all it was a sad and disturbing day.

Since no one I know has any idea where New Caledonia is – here’s a quick synopsis. New Cal is an island country in Oceania – a 2 1/2 hour flight from Auckland. It is located about 800 miles off the coast of Australia east of Brisbane and the main island is one of the largest of all Pacific islands – about the size of New Jersey.

Settled by both Britain and France during the first half of the 19th century, the island was made French in 1853. However under the terms of the 1998 Noumea Accord, over a period of 15 to 20 years an increasing amount of governing responsibility will transfer over from France to New Caledonia.

My college French is just about non-existent 40+ years later so communication may be a challenge! We do have a book aboard titled “French For Cruisers” and I have a Rosetta Stone French language app on my iPhone so maybe I will be able to ask directions to the toilet if my accent isn’t too abysmal. Word has it however that the French influence means the food is terrific.

New Cal has a tropical climate, hot and humid. At the moment it is summer there and temps are in the 90s. I’m really looking forwards to the heat after the recent cold snap in Tucson. The area is subject to hurricanes between November and March so Rod has secured a marina berth for AVATAR in Noumea’s harbor which is a noted “hurricane hole”.

So our latest adventure is just about to unfold. Just thought I’d get up to speed on the blogging.

UPDATE: 8 hours after I wrote the above we are aboard AVATAR, suitcases unpacked, sweaters and jackets shed!  The view from my window seat flying in showed beautiful turquoise seas, ribbons of reef, and multiple small islands. Looks like a very inviting place to explore .  New Cal has the second longest coral reef in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier, and the largest lagoon in the world.

The bad news – two days ago Rod sent us a weather forecast that showed a week of fine weather coming up – but today that’s out the window and the latest on the weather front is a ‘high’ probability of a cyclone developing in the next few days!!!!  As a result we are staying put here in port – no cruising until the weather sorts itself out! We did just acquire a primo berth in Noumea’s newest marina, Port du Sud, built to hurricane specs so hopefully if the worst comes to pass we’ll weather it ok.  Fingers crossed.

Sent from my iPad

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Responses

  1. Its really nice to hear from you! Firstly all the best for 2011 and lots of fun in New Caledonia – a wonderful place and good food.
    All the best Rolf & Norma

  2. Bonjour, regards to everyone and have a fantastic time, the Isle de pines and surrounding anchorages are stunning. Make sure you have a line out the back as the yellowfin tuna are abundant. Sue is madly trying to become the next Carol with her photography and I have to say she is doing well. I rue the day you got her back interested in photography!!!! LOL
    Take care and enjoy
    Derek

  3. Happy New Year Carol and Mike. Have a great time in Vanuatu. Hope to see some great photo’s soon! Im currently busy doing a lightroom course and about to have my first little exhibition down at Fresh Cafe ! The boat has had a few problems but it may be ready for the weekend. Yippee ! I need to get back out on the water. Derek is misbehaving as usual but has stopped climbing (falling out of) Mango tree’s!!!

  4. so i assume u will be back for the winter show…right?

    happy to hear you are well in “hurricane hole”

    keep posting, can’t wait to see pictures of the reef~

    we have been back from switzerland now for almost a week, still jet lagged though, Parker is waking at 4 am wanting lunch, Eric back in NY….hopefully things will get “normal” around here, still police at post on both ends of my block facing east and west, with Obama coming, I am sure i will be fully surrounded. This should make me feel safe…right?

  5. Hi Carol, I just read your !st blog and I’m so happy to be able to see and read about your adventures! I’ve been very busy because My mom (88) fell and broke her hip in Cal, had 2 pins put in, has very good bone. I flew out , stayed at my brother’s and flew back with her the next day. I’ve got my hands full but I love this diversion. Thanks. Phyllis

  6. So sorry to hear about your mom-really does impact your life trying to help out! Good luck. Glad you’re enjoying our windy adventure!


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