On Friday 12th of August we woke up early in Port Moselle marina. Had a good breakfast and went to buy fresh food from local market. After that was time to go and do the checking-out things.
First we went to immigration,then customs and finally visited Port captain. Every visit was fast and easy...and FREE!
From customs we got also a permission for taxfree diesel.
Then it was time for last shopping and back to the boat to make last preparations.
We left the marina just before 12 to avoid overtime fees.
After getting about 150l diesel and 20l gasoline,we were ready to go.
Taxfree diesel cost 70XFP/l (normally 100XFP) and gasoline 110XFP. 1e=120XFP.
We sailed slowly about 10nm and anchored in ile Ndu. The water around the island was amazingly clear and we could see turtles and fishes swimming near Homeless.
Next morning we woke up early again, ate breakfast and pulled anchor up.
Sent message to our friends in s/y Libertalia and told that we are really leaving.
As we got out of the reef and sailed little further, we saw s/y Libertalia in our AIS. "What are they doing here?" We thought. Then we understood that they just sailed out there to say goodbye to us.
We were amazed!They sailed next to us, took some pictures and some film with their Drone. Then they said they have a farewell gift for us. "What?!" They sailed nearer and throw us a beautiful farewell poem,some sweets and flag of New-Caledonia. We both got quite emotional while reading their poem.
What a sweet people! Time with them was too short.
It's so sad to say goodbye to people like that. We will meet someday,somewhere...that's for sure!
Shame that we will be sailing in different directions...
Thank you Zane and Michelle!
After that emotional meeting, we kept sailing slowly in light breeze. It wasn't maybe the best time to leave, but we decided to keep going. We stayed quite near the coast and got a light kick from land breeze. It was enough to take us 1.5 - 5knts forward.
Few days went like that, but actually we enjoyed that peaceful sailing.
Next days we got quite strong wind 25kts and it wasn't so pleasant anymore. 25kts was ok for us, but we don't like down wind sailing (boat is rolling from side to side).
After few days of strong wind we got nice and stable trade winds untill Gulf of Papua when wind died and we had to start motor.
Fortunately had to motor only few days untill we got nice winds again.
In Torres Strait we had current and wind in our favour. Only in Prince of Wales channel we got current against(0-1.5knts). There was also about 20knts wind from SE so current didn't bother us too much.
So we passed Torres in good conditions and only in one day (140nm). We also saw only 2ships+ Australian military vessel.
In Prince of Wales channel(end of Torres) Australian military vessel came near us and contacted by VHF. They asked basic things like how many people on board, last and next port of entry, our nationality ect.
After Torres Strait we arrived in shallow Arafura sea and got again stable trade winds and current was mostly with us.
Only about 60nm before Port Saumlaki we had to start motor again and motored slowly all the way untill Saumlaki. It was too dark when we aproached Saumlaki so we waited "outside" untill sun rose.
It was good that we waited because charts are not very reliable here. For example we tried to anchor in a place where our map said we have 9m water and reality was 0.8m. We were watching very carefully, but the depth went down in a second. So it was the first time for Homeless to get stucked in coral. Locals had their amusement when we tried to get Homie out of coral. Fortunately nothing happened to our home and we went to other place and anchored in 18m water.
It was about 8 o'clock in the morning when we anchored in the place where we are now. At 9.30 Navy vessel came alongside us and 4 guys came on board. They were very relaxed and just hung around about 3hours and then they took immigration and quaranteen to our boat. Quaranteen guy went through our meds and immigration lady filled some forms without asking a thing from us. Oh, we had to fill arrival/departure form!
No one asked our boat papers...they were happy to get our boat stamp,nothing else.
After and within the formalities we took lots of group pics.
We got good info about Saumlaki and navy guys told that we can do thai boxing in police station😀
When they left we went to visit Harbourmaster as told, but he kindly told us we don't need to see him now, but we have to come before we leave. Oki, we left and had nice dinner in local restaurant for 5e.
You can see on the street that there aren't so many visitors in Saumlaki. Actually Navy guys told that 10-20boats come here per year and that's almost all their turism.
We love it and felt that we are in right place!
Our 2400nm passage took us 21 days. We are very pleased with that. Used about 100l of Diesel and 200l of water(we wash ourselves with saltwater). Average speed was 4.9knts!
There was no problems on the passage except once our engine didn't start. The problem was again with start relay. Mikko sorted that out very fast.That same problem we had last time in Madeira.
Highlights of the passage:
-s/y Libertalia came to say good bye
-Cargo ship contacted us (VHF) and asked what kind on 8m "thing"is going out there..we found it funny:)..they saw us in AIS
-big group of dolphins
-got one Tuna, yeppee!
-all the in reach messages we got
-54 flying fishes on our deck during 24h...don't know if that's very positive thing;)
Ps.We'll try to post pics as soon as possible