Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday night race!

Everywhere we go, the racing scene is out in force on Wednesday nights in the summer!  Noumea is no different and we were treated to a spectacle in the anchorage as dozens of boats flew spinnakers on the downwind leg.  The wind then shifted 180 degrees and they flew them home as the sun set.  The French do love their sailing!

Friday, September 24, 2010

There goes the neighborhood!

View of Noumea Harbor!

Busy place!  Freighters, cruise ships, navy vessels, yachties!!

Parc Forestier!

We had a very long hike  yesterday, about an hour and a half, much of it uphill!  But the views were spectacular along the way!  We were looking for a park with some rare birds in it.  Turned out to be a zoo but they are breeding pairs of these endagered Kagu birds so we'll forgive them!  The Kagu only live in New Caledonia and are on the WWF endangered species list. Known as the 'ghost of the forest', they are flightless and normally live in very remote locations.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

marine reserves

Lots of these big turtles swimming around in the amazingly clear water!  They are very curious and swim around the boats but dive as soon as you look at them.  The small islands near Noumea are mostly marine reserves so all sealife and birdlife are protected.  It makes for a lot of stuff in the water!  We saw a Dugong, a kind of whale also known as a 'sea cow'.  It feeds on grassy weed and is very friendly.  Lots of fish of course and a few sharks to spice things up!  Weather has been cool (20-25) since we arrived but is warming up now as we move into summer here.  All in all a very comfortable climate and friendly people that speak a weird language that I recognize from my childhood!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Toketie crew in New Caledonia!

The Toketie crew have been exploring some of New Caledonia for a few weeks now!  Unfortunately the internet service seems very poor here so we don't have very good access.  Culture is interesting, very European flavor, with a mixture of the local indigenous Kanak population.  Noumea is a small city with most of the country's people crammed into and has homeless people down by the waterfront.  We did get out to some of the S anchorages though and on a hike managed to take this picture of Toketie from the top of a hill!