Tapping a dying keyboard four days out from New Caledonia.
Progressing good, if we been complaining in earlier posts about weak winds here in the south pacific we are now sure where the wind been, a constant pumping southeasterly at 20-28knots gusting sometimes up to the upper thirties, swell big as houses and a strong current, all of them traveling in line, no confusion no terror just an ocean that knows its heading, Miramis is happy now, running on a bottom reefed main and a small jib at nights and with a poled genua as addition on the hours the sun comes by, At night the moon growing bigger every day tainting our surrounding silver, I’m cooking porridge and have just done the dishes, taking laps between the computer and stirring the pot on the stove, Mai just woke up.
Today we don’t know what to do, maybe we watch another movie or try resurrect a computer battery that given up the steam, life moves slow and gentle here at the moment, still there is about 7-8 days before we reach the great barrier reef and the Torres strait, we seen two ships so far so the traffic seams to get thicker already.
This is all about life on passage, this post was going to be about New Caledonia and all we saw and all people we met there.
I knew it at first sight when I read about New Caledonia, That was when we still where heading towards Vanuatu,
I knew that i in some way would come to love it and so I did, after those two days of extreme terror beating against a strong southerly from Vanuatu in combination with a flu it was magic to enter Havanna passage in province de sud on Grand Terre, Water as always behind a reef instantly flatten out, u can here Miramis cutting the water at her bow, a landscape tainted red by the soil, high rising rugged and raw, a coastline cracked up in creeks, bays and rivers accompanied with tropical islands in the south east, It is a magical view and with the previous days of sailing it was like coming to heaven,
New Caledonia was discovered by Cpt James Cook, It was given the name since it reminded him very much of Caledonia in Scotland,
New Caledonia became later a colony under French flag and at present time they are a French outer territory country, Here there is a combination of traditional Melanesian lifestyle with the French,
Noumea witch is the capital is modern and the people here is very friendly and helpful, it’s a mix of Europeans and Melanesian with minority’s of Japanese and Chinese living here.
Compared to the rest of the other south pacific islands we been visiting that is volcanic youngsters New Caledonia is part of a much older world coming from same landmasses as Australia.
This island also host the world’s largest reserves of Nickel and Cobolt witch make the mining industry present,
Since young on summer holidays with my family my father often took us to industrial sites and hydropower plants, a strange habit I now have adopted and with all this industrial machinery in a landscape as this it never got boring exploring rivers and hiking hills finding historical sites of old mining villages from a century earlier.
the east coast have for a longer stretch no connection with roads, still there is mining villages, the people live there coming and going in boats and small airplanes/helicopters but most of the time u see no one, giving it a feel about being home in north of Sweden.
On our southern and eastern strolls with Miramis we been repairing gennaker while eating fresh oysters, cleaning cloths in crystal clear freshwater rivers, hiking hills, trying out hot springs and seen sharks and a whale, driving all over ile de Pine on scooter and enduring 38knots fall winds on anchor.
In Noumea we was invited to barbeques taken to Kava Bars and around the city by the friends we met aboard Rumbling rose in Tanna the month before, Teiki took us to see his Brother who works at the aquarium and have a great passion for fishes, a man who have built his own fish pools in the garden.
Some week before we meet a couple in the south while we were trying to sort out how to repair our gennaker on a muddy grass flat, they were there over the weekend on their boat and we quick became good friends, on the last stop in Noumea we was invited to Thierry and Camille for dinner on a hill slope in their new house with a magical view, We really hope to see all those people again and New Caledonia, We felt home there and it was very hard to leave.
I think this country is the most diverse of all we visited so far, it has the world’s largest circular coral reef that gives it good protection and a lot of fish, it has tropical islands and clear water, humpback whales in the right season, high mountains, a varied fauna of vegetation, endless of creeks and rivers to hike or paddle, fantastic friendly people, traditional lifestyle, modern lifestyle, birds everywhere and NO Mosquitos!
Thank u and Bon Voyage we love u!