We left the Gold Coast Seaway at 7.30 am Tuesday 23rd May, 2017.
We arrived at the Amadee Lighthouse entrance of New Caledonia Sunday at 8 am 28th May, 2017.
Our crew John and Saxil arrived the day before departure, quickly got up to speed as well as joining us for the formalities of our clearance with Border Force.
There was a “conga line” of Rally yachts heading out to sea. An amazing sight with an even more amazing feeling being part of it.
Once through the Seaway we were on our own. We had contact with other yachts in range on our VHF radio, weather reports from our Satellite system via email and Predict Wind, and our AIS tracking. When boats were within a 7 nautical mile range, we could see them on AIS and talk on VHF (on channel 68, our Rally channel). In the first few days we were in the company of Easy Tiger, Skellum, Songlines and Sueno Azul. The last few days, no one was around us.
We had a great trip. The wind was kind to us with nothing over 20 knots. Lots of motor sailing. The seas even though relatively calm with 1-2 metre swells, did cause some sea sickness issues for many of the boats. Our three guys were fine! Me, well, a bit of queasiness on and off most of the trip which I expected. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I was unable to help in the galley or do anything much inside … but I didn’t feed the fish!
For all you people who like figures …
- 844 nm sailed across the water
- 812 nm across ground as we had current against us
- 6.8 knots our average speed
- 188 nm was our best day – day 3
- 131 nm was our slowest day – day 2
- 13 knots was our top speed
- 260 litres of fuel was used
Strangely enough the 5 days went quickly. I have looked back at my notes and found a comment I wrote on day 4 … “I think I’m over it. Food is yuk. Can’t do anything inside. What use am I?”
But that feeling of achievement approaching the Amadee Lighthouse (New Caledonia lagoon entrance) on Sunday morning will stay with us for a long time … and the thrill of motoring in to Port Moselle with other rally boats, while listening to the banter on our precious channel 68 … and then ‘arriving’ to the cheers and whistles … WE MADE IT!!!!
It has been a big few days, weeks and months. The celebrations have been numerous and they concluded last night with our final ‘arrival’ party held at the Port Moselle Marina. After some presentations (including a “Spirit of the Rally” trophy to our le capitaine from se’ Bossa Nov’a) we partied and danced to the local band who played an array of known rock songs, even songs from our own AC/DC. (They all sounded a bit the same by the end of the night!) The only time the dance floor was empty was when the food trays appeared.
A big thank you to John (and Leanne), our Downunder Go East Rally organizer. He did a fantastic job with all his preliminary work but most of all, he picked the right weather and got us all here safely.