We have spent the last few days in Baie de Prony – Ilot Casy and Anse Majic with Easy Tiger and Sans Souci. We have visited Prony before. It’s a picturesque bay with multiple anchorages for any weather, about a five-hour sail from Noumea. It is also the site of a large nickel mine that works 24/7 stripping the topsoil, leaving red scars throughout the bay. But, fortunately this does not detract from Prony’s appeal. Prony is surrounded by high mountains, clear rivers, coral reefs, waterfalls and walking trails. Well worth the visit!
First stop was Ilot Casy where we were looking forward to Moose taking us on a tour of the island. Moose lives alone on Ilot Casy, with visiting boaties dropping him food and water when they can. Moose seemed to be on another ‘tour’ when we went ashore for our walk. No matter, we followed our ‘tour’ leaders from Sans Souci who had previously completed a Moose tour of the island on another visit. We also felt with a name like Sans Souci (French for “no worries”), we couldn’t go wrong.
Ilot Casy is a small island with such lush green foliage. Even the water is green. There are neglected remnants of a hotel from days gone by and a well maintained jetty, but these days it is a destination for yachties, campers, walkers and swimmers. It also has numerous moorings. Moorings are common on the islands in New Cal. Many islands have fringing reefs so moorings are provided encouraging boats not to drop an anchor which destroys the coral. The moorings are well maintained and once you learn the knack, they are quite easy to pick up. (I did drop our boat hook on a failed attempt, when I thought my arm was about to unwillingly grow longer, but fortunately Lloyd retrieved it!)
The walk around Ilot Casy was lovely. We circumnavigated the small island dropping in to beaches along the way while enjoying the dense green vegetation and some great views.
Baie Majic is a short trip from Ilot Casy. With Sans Souci taking on the ‘tour’ leaders role once again, we picked up a mooring in Majic and prepared for a much longer and harder walk. A picnic at the top was planned. We also knew we were in for some red red soil.
Dinghies tied to the trees, off we went. The first section was a reasonably well maintained wide track … but it was up, up and up! All on red soil. Not sure we’d like to do this after some rain. It would be very slippery. We then entered the bush and continued on a winding trail that took in some spectacular views across the islands and reefs, including right out to Ile des Pins (our next day’s destination).
Well worth the walk! The whale season has begun (July-September), so we were lucky enough to watch yachts below following a whale. The telescopes provided at the shelter were a great help. At the top at the lighthouse, whale watchers were sending sighting details to the charter boats below by two-way radios.
Next stop … Gadji!