Not the usual EOY but a phone call from work reminds me of duties awaiting our return. However, thats still a long way off so I will ignore that for now.

Since our last post I have enjoyed another birthday.

My accountant and friend, Jim, took great delight in texting, with birthday wishes, that I am now eligible to draw a pension.

Our friends Greg and Janie on Skedaddle had finally arrived at Kuto on Isle De Pins so we sailed down to join them from Baie de Uameo. We took the outside route, having decided that the inside “thread the boat through the coral heads” route was not a good idea for the health of our relationship or our boat.

Greg and Janie put on pre dinner drinks aboard Skedaddle followed by a trip to the local hotel restaurant. Another good night was had. George and Ute from Miami and Marco and Alessandra from Down Under joined the party.

23rd June 2013

Off to the local Gendarmes with George as translator. We gave the local constable a letter of complaint in both English and French,from Gypsy Lee, regarding her treatment by locals in the north of the island. It seems there are undercurrents of resentment within the Kanak people and Independence from France is on the agenda. It all seems a bit short sighted as I have no doubt the country will slip further backwards if Independence does happen. Already it is obvious that the country is in decline and the number of tourists and cruisers we have seen is small. Infrastrucure is falling apart and erosion due to mining, roadmaking and even walking tracks is a huge problem.

After last nights festivities Lea decided it was time for a run so I did the Pic N'ga climb again and picked up a few more passionfruit on the way.

The hectic social life continued with drinks aboard Resolute a Chris White Atlantic 48 Cat with Ken and Janice. This cat has a centre cockpit and after having a good look around I was very impressed with the boat. As an aside I later looked up Chris White's web site. He has some great ideas.

Roast beef on the Cobb that night finished another good day.

Monday 24th June 2013

Rainy morning with Greg and Janie aboard. I got thrashed by Janie at iPad Scrabble. Afternoon walk to the old cemetery of the deportees. Early dinner and an old fashioned game of Scrabble.

Tuesday 25th June

Ute's Birthday. Fresh scones with cream and jam for morning tea with Greg and Janie on Skedaddle. Then off to Baie du Oro, with George and Ute for a Crayfish lunch.

It was blowing a gale but we had a great time.

Back to Kuto and we decided to move the boat around to the next bay for more protection from the wind. It was also closer to the next restaurant at Hotel Oure, right on the beach at Baie de Kanumera. This was a very upmarket place and the food was great. Lea made a new friend.

The resident restaurant cat curled up on Lea's lap and went to sleep.

But wait! There's more! Birthday cake back on Miami!

And bloody good cake it was!

Wednesday 26th June 2013

Heavy winds didn't eventuate but the day was grey, rainy and sticky. Lounged around, still to full to move. Last minute motorsail back to Kuto as SW came in but it was a mistake as it was WSW so we all had a lumpy night in Kuto. Dinner on Skedaddle, Janie cooked us a lovely curry.

Thursday 27th June 2013

Off at 7.00 am to sail back to Baie de Prony with Miami and NZ boat Periclees.

 

12 knot SW forecast and we got 15-20 WSW so it was hard on the wind all the way. a good sail though with 1 reef in. Lots of pumice in the water some of which ended up on the decks. Came in a couple of hours ahead of Miami. They hadn't managed to lay the Prony Light in so we were very pleased with GL's windward performance and again surprised the mono fraternity with our upwind ability. We went right to the top of Prony to the calm of Baie de Carenage. We had time to do a quick dinghy trip up to the cascade but the tide was too low so we put it off until tomorrow morning.

Friday 28th June 2013

Stunning morning. Fisherman came up and gave us a fish. We were very excited, as the fishing has been hopeless, until Lea identified the fish as a Carp. We decided to surreptitiously discard it in the mangroves.

Then it was off in the dinghy to the falls and the hot tub.

The hot tub is fed from a hot underground spring.
After crossing the cascade we enjoyed a long walk up to the west end of Baie de Carenage. Finding and exploring many ruins along the way. There was a prison, bustling town, port and cobalt mine here in the 1870's. We also found Japanese graves.

It was a warm sunny day.

Look what I found in a pool above the cascade as we returned. Much more refreshing than a tepid hot tub!

Late afternoon we headed down to Ilot Casey and spotted smoke at the northern anchorage but no boats. Then a dinghy comes around the corner and we recognise George and Ute and guess they are having a BBQ. We picked up a mooring and joined them on the beach for another good night of conversation. They generously shared their meal with us. We got so engrossed that we forgot about the dinghy and the tide came in and took it away. Fortunately the wind had changed and it had blown back onshore a 100 metres down the beach. A few salient lessons learnt. We had come ashore with no shoes, no torch, and had just pulled the dinghy up the beach without tying it up or anchoring it. Not good!

Saturday 29th June 2013

Motored around to the western anchorage of Ilot Casey and picked up a mooring. Then set off for an explore of the island. We were greeted on the jetty by Moose the local dog who survives on the island by catching squid and fish and being fed by yachties. The resort on the island is closed and boarded up, which is a real shame.

The scenery around the coastline and the forest is stunning.

But again the remains of previous mine workings have created a damaged, lunar landscape of amazing contrast in the middle of the island

Back to the boat for a swim in the crystal clear water. Sundowners on GL with Periclees, Slosh and Miami. George and Ute stayed for dinner and another good night was had. Supplies are getting low now so each meal requires a bit of creative thinking.

Sunday 30th June 2013

Motorsailed across to Baie de Nord also known as the Bay of Ruins. There was a large penal colony here. The bay is red mud washed down the river from erosion. We took the dinghy up the little river as far as the cascade. Reminds us a bit of the King River in Tassie with the red stain.

Back at the river entrance we explored the ruins on both sides of the river.

The jungle is taking over rapidly.

We then found a track heading north, so (after tying the dinghy securely) we headed off for a good walk up to the large river that flows into the north of the bay.

And found more cascades. Didnt have the soap with us this time so back to the boat for a quiet still night.

 

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