Welcome to Zenitude’s blog where you can follow us while we travel slow in our Lagoon catamaran. We update this blog frequently when we are cruising to let family and friends know where we are. Check the complete story of our adventures that started in 2006 when Zenitude became our home and cruising our way of life. Graciela and Oscar

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Ile des Pins

Early this morning we left Ile des Pins after spending a wonderful week there. It's no wonder this is such a popular place. We were lucky that the weather was magnificent. The island is beautiful with the green vegetation, lots of pines, very white smooth sand beaches and turquoise clear waters. We stayed in Kuto and did 2 day trips to Ilot Brosse as the weather was very settled.

Fabulous Ilot Brosse 

Looking for the track to Nga
We did the track to Nga which is easy in an interesting forest but managed to loose the track before getting to the apparently breathtaking views. Anyway, it was a good walking exercise. Also we spent some time in Kanumera beach, another amazing bay with the famous rock that is 'forbidden to climb'. The rock seems to be falling in pieces that stay at the bottom in the clear waters of the bay, the trees manage to grow on the rock while their roots corrode the rock creating a beautiful effect.

Kanumera beach

Our last day was a bit of a disappointment as the big P&O cruise ship deposited thousands of tourists in this tiny place and our plan to rent a car and go around the island was crashed. There was no possible transport if you didn't have a P&O cruiser card and no cars left for renting. Oh well, something to do next time.

There were several cruising boats in Kuto and we met again with Retour. They mentioned that
with settled weather you can go with your boat to Vao, where there is the main village and a nice market for fresh produce that opens Saturday and Wednesday. Another activity left for next time.

Just after lunch we arrived at Kouare where we are at the moment.

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Monday, 9 September 2013

At anchor in Ilot Uere

We left Port Moselle marina at lunch time and decided to come to Ilot Uere, which is just 6 1/2 miles from Noumea. It was a short but quite uncomfortable trip, by the time we arrived we had head winds blowing over 20 kn. The lagoon is shallow and gets very choppy with winds over 15 kn. The anchorage is protected from the swell however the wind gets thru and there is little protection despite what we read in our cruising guide. Fortunately the holding seems excellent and we are expecting the wind to abate later tonight.

The weather is not really inviting for any dinghy trip to the beach ashore so we are just relaxing on board. On top of it the beach does not seem very inviting either as there are plenty of stones where you expect to find sand, in other words, we are not quite impressed with this anchorage.

When we arrived we found Retour already at anchor here, we might catch up with them later if we decide to put the dinghy down in the water.
 Zenitude and Retour at anchor
Next day we had a chat with Retour and came to shore for a walk. We changed our minds about this place, finding it quite nice. Ashore we did a long walk and found mangroves along the way, a beautiful and peaceful scenery, amazing considering this is very close to Noumea. Our friends in Retour tell us that they've been in this anchorage in several occasions in strong winds and they never had a problem, with the holding being excellent.
Pebbles on shore but quite beautiful nevertheless

A quiet moment
The second night something happened. By sunset French Marines started arriving. Quite interesting, all of the sudden hundreds of marines had invaded this peaceful place. We had to assume it was for training purposes, no threats hiding in the mangroves it seems. As we left next day at sunrise, we didn't hang out to find out.
Marines start arriving
Beautiful Mangroves


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Sunday, 8 September 2013

Thinking on Ile des Pins

The trade winds have been blowing hard for the last week and as we listen to the wind whistling and Zenitude trembling at the docks in Port Moselle we are trying to plan for next week's sailing. We'd like to go east to Ile des Pins but going east with this wind is not appealing. As the forecast says it will change by Wednesday we keep planning. At the moment we decided to leave the marina tomorrow and go where the wind takes us, which is probably west. There are several nice anchorages not far from Noumea, where we can wait for the wind to abate.  Once we can head east we'll probably stop for the night along the way depending on the weather at the time.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Back in Noumea

After a quiet time in beautiful Ilot Kouare we came back to Noumea to pick up Joan that was brave enough to visit and sail with us around the lagoon.

It was a short and very enjoyable visit. The weather was good and we sailed first to Ilot Amedee. To Oscar's disappointment we aborted the climb to the lighthouse after looking up at the top from the beach, it certainly looked high to us.
The lighthouse in Ilot Amedee

 On the way back to the dinghy a lazy sea snake gave us some excitement when it decided to go back to the water crossing just under Oscar's legs.

Sea snake

As always in Amedee, we saw many turtles swimming around. Joan enjoyed a good snorkeling before leaving the day after for our next stop, Ilot Larengere. This time the snorkel was amazing, a coral garden with plenty of fish, turtles, sharks and the highlight for Joan, her first encounter with a morea eel. From there we sailed to Baie Maa, a very quiet anchorage, perfect for the BBQ that was on the menu for dinner. Then we came back to the marina at Port Mosselle as the trip was over for Joan that took the early flight for Sydney this morning. It was great to have her company, even when it was just a very short visit.

We are now at the marina thinking on a trip to Ile des Pins before start planning our way back to Australia.
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