Northern Reefs, New Caledonia
|Trip||Days||Ports of Call||Dates|
|175||10||Koumec||Sep 20 - Sep 29, 2016|
"There's no better place to experience the Pacific with a taste of France than New Caledonia, where Melanesian tradition blends with French sophistication. This mix of the chic yet casual, très French but ultimately Pacific comes together with peerless élan in Noumea, the cosmopolitan capital. Dining out and shopping run the gamut from gourmet restaurants to humble roulottes, from Chinatown's colourful shops to the expensively elegant, air-conditioned boutiques on rue de Sébastopol. When you leave the capital, the urban scenery gives way to a wealth of changing landscapes - the rolling plains of la brousse (the bush), lush river valleys, steep mountains coursed by tumbling waterfalls, cool rainforests and wild coastlines."-- Lonely Planet Intro
We haven't sailed through New Caledonia since two brief trips in 2003 and 2004 on our way and from Vanuatu. But I've always wanted to return. Noumea is a proper city, with sophisticated French restaurants and luxury bungalow style hotels looking out on the great Pacific. Grand Ville, the largest island in the chain is 250 miles long and is completely encircled by a barrier reef (the largest on Earth), with the entire lagoon navigable. This means protected anchorages everywhere we go, and many, many possibilities for fantastic surfing and kitesurfing. Stunning vistas, gorgeous food, endless opportunities for exploration, New Caledonia will not disappoint! On this seventh voyage in the archipelago we'll begin at the northernmost port with a marina and airport on New Caledonia, Koumac and depart immediately for the remote and stunning looking outer reefs. Awesome anchorages, vast reefs to fish and explore, and the kiting- well given the reliable trades in the heat of the trade season, it should be EPIC. And take a look at the map- anyone see reef pass breaks? I do:)
New Caledonia- where marine treasures of all shapes and sizes lie waiting to be discovered - canyons and caves, exquisite coral, the smallest of tropical fish, turtles, sea snakes and sharks. Dolphin and whale spotting are other delights in store, or simply the luxury of total relaxation on the soft, warm sand of a deserted isle. -- Lonely Planet
Getting there: International flights to Noumea are offered on several different airlines, including Air France. We suggest spending a night or two in Noumea on the front or back end to see the city and dive into the French cuisine. Then you can take a flight out to Koumec (or not a bad drive) for the start of the trip (please arrive before noon if possible on the start day posted). Then you'll need another one-way flight from Koumec airport (or you could make the journey by land) back to Noumea anytime in the morning on the last day of the trip.
- Did we say surf?
- Fantastic, world class gunkholing
- Fun sailing and navigation
- Ok, some more surf
- Reefs galore
- Did we say surf?
- Lack of wind and kiting- leeward side of the island
|Mean Avg Wind||10 ESE|
Cabin 1 - Gavin Simpson - Guests: Guest
Cabin 3 - Gavin Simpson - Guests: Guest
Cabin 4 - Gavin Simpson - Guests: Guest