Friday, September 26, 2008

New Caledonia

In Honor of the Forces who by their Presence During the Pacific Wave
From March 1942 to February 1946 Insured the
Freedom of New Caledonia
Her People are Deeply Grateful
We arrived in Noumea September 20th and were lucky to find a place in the marina with sketchy internet. This is the place, where in 1943, Lynn's Dad and her uncle Bud were stationed during WWII and they got the message that she was born on October 16th. Yes, she will get Social Security this year. We promised Uncle Bud some pictures so here they are:

These shots are around Anse Vata, or Vata Cove which is southwest of Noumea.

It's too bad the day was cool and cloudy or

we could have taken shots of the


We visited the museum and aquarium

Next we plan to provision at the wonderful French waterfront market and head up the west coast and down the east coast of New Caledonia to make a circumnavigation of the island. Most of it will be inside the reef which protects us from the ocean swell. This will take about 3 weeks and then we check out for Australia.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vanuatu Visit

In August we sailed to Vanuatu where many of the Survivor TV shows were films.We spent about 10 days in Port Vila, the biggest town in Vanuatu. It's an attractive and enjoyable place. It had quite a presence in World War 11 with many Navy persons and Michner's "Tales of the South Pacific" took place north of here in Luganville. It's fun to try and speak the Pidgin English. CYAN blong nambawan. “Cyan is number one!” Yes nambawan is one word.

This country is about the most "third world" and primative we have been to yet. They have lots of old world superstitions, volcanos erupting, waterfalls, cannibalism until 1969, weird cults that worship WW II soldiers, few clothes, sharks, sea snakes and many other edgy things to watch out for. They are warm and inviting folks but quite simple their cultures and art. Until recently in the 1900s there were loads of different island cultures and languages in the 80 islands. They fought and ate each other and any white folks thinking about settling around. It was hard on the missionaries but they finally had an impact. The more remote islands still share their customs and dancing with cruising visitors. We spent 9 days around the islands north of Port Vila but had to head back when we got a great weather break.

We missed the famous volcano on the island of Tanna but we can’t do everything if the weather doesn’t work out. Malaria is an issue and we are taking meds that make it hard to sleep but ward off the critters in the mosquitos' bite!!! Chuck went on some scuba dives and saw even more unique sealife. He was ecstatic about his dive on the Cooledge, a WW II wreck in Luganville.

On his birthday, Chuck caught this 60" mahimahi that we shared with 2 other cruising boats and one whole half was given to feed 6 local families.
We plan to take off about mid September to visit New Caledonia and we are provisioning now. Shopping is good here in Vila and duty-free booze is cheap so we are making room to take a bunch to Australia.