Well, here we are in New Caledonia since the day before yesterday. We
can consider this as the end of the trans Pacific crossing. Papy Jovial
has covered 12,725 nautical miles since she left Portsmouth, 10,392
since we left Balboa,entering the Pacific and 9,585 since we left Manta
and South America.
As we came alongside in Port Moselle, three brothers of the coast were
there to take our lines, prelude to a fantastic welcome on their part.
The crew that arrived here with Papy Jovial is about to leave, Jean
Francois flying back to France tomorrow morning and Claude returning
home in Moorea probably next Friday.
On November 5th, Nigel Clarke will join me from New Zealand, and
Marie-Laurence, a young lady from Quebec who will live through her first
experience on the high seas, will join on November 8th. Both will stay
until New Zealand only. There is a possibility that Philippe from Noumea
will join me in New Zealand and sail with me to Sydney. But after that,
as far as I know today, I am on my own. I know that I have three month
to find help but I believe that it won't be easy.
The day we arrived, we were invited to the monthly dinner of the Noumea
brothers of the Coast. Unforgettable evening with lots of sea shanties,
bagpipe and "bombarde" (I don't know the english word for it). Great
party with superb food, lots of drinks, and an atmoshpere of friendship,
brotherhood and fun.
Last night, my niece Cecile and her husband Marc who is deployed here as
military, welcomed me to their home for dinner, and very kindly will let
me use their car while they are going on a week-end of relaxation at the
"Ile des Pins".
On the boat, only one problem, but a serious one. Again, three travelers
on the main sail have come loose and the fitting to maintain two of the
battens have craked. I have seen the sail maker and he says there won't
be any problem fixing it. However, I may have, like in Tahiti, to chase
him day in day out until I get the sail back. As a matter of fact, the
sail is still on the boat as he was supposed to pick it up today but did
not show up.
The marina of Port Moselle is a great one. It is right in the middle of
town and everything, post office, markets, bakeries, etc.. are within
easy walking distance.
At the end of the visitors dock, there is a bar restaurant called "The
end of the World" which will soon become my headquarters.
Right now, the weather does not look good. It looks like 25 to 30 knots
on the nose, which makes it impossible to go. I hope I won't have to
wait too long for a good weather window.