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Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 5 - 19th, 2010 - The French Way of Noumea

We had originally thought that once I was taken care of we would head back out to explore some of the beautiful anchorages around Noumea; however, Tuesday brought terrible weather that lasted until the weekend. Frank and I spent three days battened down playing cards, reading books and just being lazy enjoying every minute of the solitude.

Friday saw beautiful weather and a mass influx of boats into the anchorage. Most of them were cruisers who had been waiting for the weather to clear so that they could jet into Noumea. We also took note that the locals chose this day to sail or motorboat off for nearby anchorages to spend the weekend out. We stayed and decided to take in whatever the city had to offer. It offered a lot. We joined forces with Bill and Val on "IQ", taking long walks to several of the lovely bays, packing picnic lunches and enjoying the pretty beaches at Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata. We shopped, browsed and ate delicious French food. There were some parades and festivals in town, and one that we particularly enjoyed was a Tahitian Dance festival. Internet on the boat was just short of non-existent, so a couple of times we went through the rigors of wrapping up the laptops for transport to shore in search of internet to get the business end of our lives sorted and to reconnect.

So this is how we passed our time in Noumea and before we knew it we were attending the Saturday night (Oct 16th) Port 2 Port Rally dinner. We are participating in the rally to Bundaberg with some 30+ yachts departing from Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Our friends on "Baraka" did it last year and gave rave reviews and high recommendations for the rally and the organizers. Sunday - Tuesday were spent cooking passage meals (for me), and readying Destiny for the 5 ½ day passage. Monday we cleared out of the country, fueled up the boat and had a farewell dinner with Bill and Val on Destiny that night. Tuesday, as we returned to the boat from our morning last-minute errands we noticed that Scallywag and JIT had arrived. We had a quick farewell visit with them and then were off to go anchor at a little island called Maitre just a few miles outside of town. We picked up a mooring ball right before a gushing rainstorm moved in and pounded us for the rest of the evening.

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