Posted by: Carol | January 22, 2011

Dining Out, Cruising Style

So we decide it’s a good night to take ourselves out to dinner – relieving Rod of cooking duty and Carol of the dish washing regime.

Step One – AM: Move yacht some 10-20 miles to anchor in vicinity of resort.

Step Two – Early PM: Dinghy into shore early to make reservations for dinner at targeted resort. Return to yacht and entertain ourselves for the rest of the afternoon. Starving by 5 PM.

Step Three – 6:45 PM: No one in New Caledonia eats before 7 PM. About 15 minutes before scheduled reservations at 7 PM (we will turn out to be the first arrivals) we shower and dress aboard yacht in preparation for dinner. In my case simple knit pullover dress, carved native necklace, waterproof plastic sandals (Crocs) and a foul weather jacket. Pouring down rain 10 minutes before scheduled departure.

Rain stops. Makes no difference. Either way pile into wet dinghy and race across bay from AVATAR to resort on far shore. Land dinghy on sandy beach, leap from dinghy into shallow surf and all three of us barely manage to wrestle heavy dinghy to high ground and tie off to a fallen tree log. This is the reason for wearing plastic (waterproof) Croc sandals! Knit dress hiked up to above knees.

Trudge across resort grounds to restaurant, pausing to slosh feet and Croc sandals in freshwater stream to eliminate sand between toes.

Enjoy a lovely gourmet meal, menu in French so guessing somewhat as to our choices. Two bottles of French wine, stimulating conversation, elegant environment, slapping at mosquitoes that hopefully are not carrying malaria.

Pay the bill and hike in the dark back to beach where dinghy is tethered. Wrestle dinghy back into water, again sloshing around in shallow surf wearing waterproof Crocs, knit dress hiked up above knees.

Fire up outboard motor and aim military grade spotlight into water off bow, watching out for shallow water and coral reef hazards because low tide. Frighten fish with powerful spotlight – they leap out of the water criss-crossing in front of us.

Race across bay clutching painter and handgrips on dinghy pontoons to avoid sudden ejection into water while continuously scanning water just ahead with said military grade spotlight. Arrive at AVATAR where we clamber onto swim step and rinse legs, feet and shoes with hand held freshwater shower.

Crash into our welcoming beds – this is a typical scenario for dining out while cruising. Written while still under the influence!




  1. Enjoying your entertaining commentaries while we wait for the next snow storm…

  2. I am replying from inside my sleeping bag as the wind howls outside in the 42 deg air. I was just up for a few minutes to bring my cameras inside from a night of star trails behind other light painted subjects here in central Texas. Your story reminds me of when I left Gizo island in the Solomons 20 years ago. Nothing like being refreshed with some salt spray in a dinghy at the start of a 44 hour trip home!

  3. Sounds like heaven.
    Hope the headache went away!!!!!!!!

  4. Ah yes, the dinghy ride!! Not for the faint of heart day or night — but dressed for dinner to boot!!
    Sounded delightful however!!

  5. We practiced star trail and Milky Way techniques in Bosque in sub-freezing temps – huddled in rental van and playing tutorials on our laptops to while away the time. I think I’m past the sleeping bag stage! My to-do list this trip includes practicing on the southern sky – but to date either a full moon or cloudy skies so no good opportunity yet. I did bring the Nikon M36 remote that I hinted (provided link) at for Christmas!

  6. Nostalgia!! Carol, you’re a born cruising raconteur. We’ve enjoyed all your posts (and photos!), but this one touched our hearts. Signe and I loved your rendition of an elegant shoreside dining experience while cruising. It brought back memories of many an evening during our cruising years. We could also add the sunny late afternoon we went ashore for dinner in Huahine, only to have a nasty squall and deluge blow up just as we pounded upwind back to Raven. No life jackets, no bilge pump or bucket, no searchlight, waves breaking over the bow . . . we were lucky to survive. But we did, so yeah, we loved cruising. Enjoy yourselves out there! Cheers . . . Jan

    I can offer a Mexican Cruiser haute couture outfit for surviving the dinner ashore. Take one black plastic trash bag. Poke two holes for legs. Put legs into bag, bunch skirt around waist, and pull to appropriate level. Tie drawstrings fashionably around waist. Enjoy! Works in rain, wind, waves, etc, but not the night in Huahine!….Signe

    Hi to Mike and Rod.

  7. Hi Jan & Signe
    Great to hear from you after a hiatus! Glad you’re still following our adventures…yes, we still love our “other life” cruising. Signe, I’ll file the trash bag outfit idea for future use! Another rainy day story was a night out to dinner and theatre in Nadi our first year aboard Raven. Anouk was wearing a beautiful red and gold sari. We got caught in a drenching downpour and the non colorfast fabric starting bleeding red dye all down her legs, shoes and sidewalk – looked like a crime scene!

  8. […] and Carol periodically update their own blog at Posted by Steve Dashew  (January 26, 2011) « Previous Post This entry was […]

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