tiistai 9. elokuuta 2016

Red Boat Reunion, Noumea

Story by Kim, travelling friend!
Imagine my delight when I heard I would be in Noumea, New Caledonia at the same time as my good friends, Homeless!
We all met in French Polynesia in 2014 whilst cruising. Me and my partner, James, were backpacking around the world and had just completed a challenging 31 day non-stop voyage across the Pacific ending in Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, where we started to meet welcoming faces like Johanna and Mikko. We bumped into each other in Tahiti, Tonga and then New Zealand and by this time James and I were more permanently attached to a different red boat called Moksha, or 'Big Homeless'.
Johanna and Mikko met me on the dock at Noumea Port Roselle Marina moments after I arrived on the yacht I had delivered from Opua, NZ. It was raining and grey, not a glimpse of sunshine, and after 5 days heeling at sea I was so happy to see them.
That Sunday we gathered baguette, a variety of delicious cheeses, salmon and white wine, and we had a windy reunion picnic at Baie de Citron. Homeless invited me to sail with them and I excitedly accepted the offer.
On Monday we had a very pleasant upwind sail in 10 knots towards Ile Uere, a beautiful circular anchorage of still waters protecting us from Southerly winds. We discovered this was a training area for a sailing school on the mainland and we had Optimist dinghies manoeuvering around us in the afternoon with happy, chattering children as captains. We all enjoyed a pleasant walk to the highest point of the island and viewed Homeless in her stunning environment, followed by a few body-stretches before we headed back for a fresh 'thon rouge' curry and a small glass (maybe two) of wine and some music.
We woke early for a snorkel and a row in 'Hobo' looking for 'goujons' (posh chicken nuggets) rather than 'dugongs', otherwise known as 'sea-cows', and this joke continues throughout the trip where we spot neither. We then motored in flat calm conditions to Amadee, where a large white steel lighthouse guides ships and yachts into the port of Noumea, and countless green turtles swim in protected waters of the marine reserve.
We jumped from Homeless into 5m of crystal clear water and enjoyed swimming up-current with turtles being cleaned by remoras, and alongside huge snapper and unicorn fish. We all recorded a comedy video for a friend to be released in the near future... ;)
A long, healthy Nana-nap started at 8pm and finished at 6am! The night was very rolly on the mooring, but as a newcomer to the motion of Homeless I found it very relaxing and cosy and had a splendid rest.
That morning at sunrise we spotted a peculiar sight of a large remora on the back of a large turtle where the fish was being risen above the surface and back down as the turtle came up for air as if he was trying to shake it off. We motor-sailed to the marina after a long, and very French breakfast and back to real-life and 'people' where Johanna and Mikko continued to prep for the trip to Indonesia and I got ready for my flight to Brisbane to see family, before returning to 'Big Homeless' in Auckland.
We don't know when our paths will cross again but I am sure we will see each other, somehow, somewhere, and we will continue to write often. Thank you Homeless so much for your hospitality and friendship! It has been 'Oar-some'. ;)

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