When we thought about joining the Go East Rally to New Caledonia this year, the deciding factor was that we knew some of the boats who were going. So out of 23 Rally boats, we already knew six. We now know a lot more!
We have spent the last week or so exploring the islands and anchorages around Noumea. We are expecting guests on board over the next few weeks, daughter Abbey and sister Joanne, so we thought we’d better check out the local sights.
In doing so we have met up with some of the other Rally boats. While enjoying our fires ashore and sundowners on each other’s boats, we have enjoyed hearing each boat’s ‘story’. And there’s always one! Great people.
It really doesn’t matter what type of boat you are on … a 34-foot mono who have hosted five people over the last few weeks (all family so they have survived), or a 52-foot catamaran with only two people on board. We were grumbling when our hot water did a bit of a dummy spit, while knowing the 34-foot mono next to us shower in the cockpit under a coke bottle with holes in the lid!!
But … there has been one big bonus meeting our young 34-foot Rally boat Frozzie … (Claudia is French, Tristan Ozzie … hence the name Frozzie!) We now know how to pronounce Ile des Pins correctly! “Pins” should be pronounced “paan”. Little did we know … we have been saying “dick/penis” in French!!
We were fortunate enough to enjoy a circumnavigation of Ilot Laregnere in a small 2-seater seaplane. Guy offered his services to each rally boat at a reduced rate. You would never know it was blowing 20 knots! I somewhat tentatively climbed in for my turn but thoroughly enjoyed it (even though I had no door securing me in). I couldn’t believe how smooth the flight was in the 20 knots and seeing the reef from above, looking down on our moored boats, was fantastic. It was just as well that I did have a turn. I gave Neville the camera to take some pics when he went up earlier. He unknowingly pressed the video button and we had 23 minutes of his feet, lap, knee, dashboard and a big blur of blue.