Welcome to our blog. Here you’ll find stories, pictures and hopefully a little helpful information about traveling around on a small sailboat.
To some, our blog may seem chronologically challenged, but it’s really not. You see, our resident Capricorn, Cyndi, posts everything in the exact order in which it occurred. Rich, with his short attention span, posts stuff the moment it occurs to him. While we’re now in New Caledonia, Cyndi is still finishing posts about the Sounds. Rich has already lost interest in last Monday. To sum it up:
Cyndi is writing about our time in the ABEL TASMAN NATIONAL PARK in 2016.
Rich is writing about the here and now, in NEW CALEDONIA.
My disappointment from passing on the Reef Point anchorage was quickly forgotten when the Onetahuti Beach anchorage came into view. This was a long stretch of golden beach backed by densely forested hills, curving around to a distant headland at its far end.
There’s probably some magic ratio of height and distance of hills, length and width of beach, color of sand and water, and density of vegetation that is a formula for beauty in any given landscape, lending it an extra something special. Whatever that is, this place had it dialed in. Onetahuti Beach will forever be in my beach hall of fame.
This anchorage was fairly open, but the southeasterly breeze was light, creating only a very gentle roll. Below, a few photos from the anchorage (click to enlarge and scroll below, or enlarge panorama at the top of the post). –Cyndi
It was an interesting ride along the coast to our next destination, Onetahuti Beach. The rocky shoreline had the sort of indents and tiny coves that make it so advantageous to travel here by kayak. (Of course, I’m sure the hikers inland see some gorgeous forest.)
One of the main points of interest was Cottage Loaf Rock, a giant white rock that looks like a rounded loaf of bread.
Shag Harbor was intriguing with lots of water taxi traffic, but it’s too small for our boat. The final place we passed was a possible anchorage for us: Reef Point. With our timeline, it would be an either/or with neighboring Onetahuti Beach so I really hoped it wouldn’t be a tempting choice. No such luck. Reef Point was a beautiful little spot beckoning us in. We went to look, but in the end we chose its more famous neighbor. Sometimes you have to make a tough choice. –Cyndi
By now, we’d become big fans of Awaroa for several reasons: the clear still water, the long beach, the beautiful walk, and the pretty resort. This is such a peaceful place, yet so full of life. If we ever get back this way, we’d come back here for a longer stay. But for now it was time to head on down the coast to our next destination. –Cyndi
Peppers Awaroa Lodge was about a 10-minute walk from the beach, and we thought it might be fun to check it out and maybe get some coffee drinks.
As we headed down the path through a forest, it wasn’t long before we thought, “Who cares about the lodge–look at this scenery!” It was beautiful, full of birds, and as pretty as many of the hikes we’ve taken in New Zealand. What an unexpected treat!
The lodge itself was small but really nice, a modern design with a cozy feeling inside and a great patio outside. Whoever designed and decorated this place did an amazing job, creating an atmosphere that makes you wish you could have a house just like it.
We happily ordered cappuccinos from the bar and had a seat. I wish we’d know about this place last night; we would have come in for our anniversary dinner. It was only listed “cafe” in our guidebook, not “gorgeous little place not to be missed!” I guess Keith Murray and I have different priorities, but then again this place, as it is now, may not have existed when he wrote his guide book. –Cyndi
We’re in a big bay called Baie de St. Vincent, anchored at an island called Ducos in its Baie des Moustiques (how’s that for a location?!).
If all this island had were its beautiful savanna vegetation, rolling hills, and fantastic views, it would be well worth visiting. But it has something more: wild horses. We went ashore yesterday to see them, and they let is get fairly close. Seeing these magnificent animals has been one of the highlights of our time in New Caledonia.
We’ve been buying 5,000 Franc Liberté cards at the gas station to recharge our mobile phone for internet time. We’re a long way from a gas station right now so I went hunting for a way to do it online. Here’s what I found…
It was easy! I used Google Translate to read the French pages but it was pretty self-explanatory. Enter the number and type of card you want (I used 5,000 cfp Liberté card), your email, mobile phone number and then it’ll ask for payment options. Enter your cc info and make sure you check the accept terms and conditions check box (I didn’t see that box when trying it from my phone – had to use the computer). They sent me a text and a couple of emails containing the 14 digit recharge code. After calling 1088, option 2, and entering that code, I was good to go.
Catch: If you don’t have internet, if you’ve already run out, you can’t do this.
We’re in a place that looks so much like Mexico’s Sea of Cortez (inside the Baja Penninsula), that we went out looking for street tacos and Pacifico beer. No luck. Just some goats, a donkey and dry landscape. It’s actually very beautiful and not something we expected to see in New Caledonia. See for yourselves…
Here’s where we are on an interactive Google map. -Rich
In spite of some sea debris, we found Awaroa to be a very lovely and appealing beach, with soft sand and lots of shells. The grassy embankment gave it the feeling of having sand dunes, and the very calm and clear water was like a lake. The whole scene was framed by the hills and mountains of the national park.
Below are a few photos of Awaroa Beach; click to enlarge/scroll.
It was really a special place, and I was so glad we’d returned. A wood ramp angled up to the start of a path that led to an eco resort, but out here on the beach it felt very much like being away from it all. –Cyndi
During this season, we made our second trip to Ile des Pins and we thought we’d share some of our favorite places. This is really a great place to visit for so many reasons. Stroll around our All-Posts map to see pictures and what we’ve written about it. Click on the pins below for a quick paragraph description.
Note: The Rocket Guide (the real one, not the one that’s being passed around the fleet) helped us get so much more out of our visit to Ile des Pins, and New Caledonia in general. We’ve used his routes and they’ve been great. We usually follow Richard’s anchoring recommendations and they’ve been very good for us. Don’t know about the Rocket Guide? Check this out. -Rich