Monday, March 13, 2023

Noumea, New Caledonia

27th August – 8th September 2022

As we had arrived into the country on a Saturday afternoon both the Customs and Immigration departments were closed. However the Biosecurity was open and we were instructed  by the marina staff  to remain onboard  with our yellow quarantine flag up until the  Bio Officer had paid us a visit and cleared us for entry. Within an hour we saw the lady officer strolling down the dock towards GWTW. She introduced herself and hopped aboard. She was most impressed that I’d already bagged and tagged what little rubbish we had.

Gwtw at Port Moselle Marina
I still had some fruit and veg left and when she checked it she let me keep the lot saying that it had originally come from NZ even though I’d bought it in Fiji as Fiji don’t grow apples or oranges or potatoes. She was really sensible about the fruit and veg. Such a refreshing attitude.

Before she left she asked us to keep our yellow flag up for about two hours in case a Customs officer decided to drop by. Her parting words on that subject was, they won’t come they never do. We were then free to do whatever we wanted until Monday when we’d need to pay Immigration a visit. Customs never did come to the boat.

The delightful cafe at the marina

Over the following two weeks comfortably  berthed at the marina  we explored Noumea and surrounds both on foot and by car. 

The supermarkets were right on our doorstep as were the fabulous fresh veggie market and the fish market and chandleries, butchers and of course patisseries. There was no excuse not to eat well.

 This city is relatively small and compact in comparison to other capital cities we've visited so it was an easy stroll around.

There was a huge variety of fish available

And the best fruit, veg and meat since leaving New Zealand

China Town but we only found two Chinese Restaurants

A very popular beach for tourists, Plage de la Baie des Citrons

Saint Joseph Cathedral
Our friend Andy from Eye Candy had met with a nasty accident en route from Vanuatu to New Cal when it was fish vs man. 

As he rushed out of their cockpit  to land the Mahi Mahi a small piece of metal attached to the aft gate tore through the flesh on his calf and into the muscle leaving a very angry gash.

They were still 24 hours away from medical assistance but with help from  both Marine Rescue Coordinators and Gulf Harbour Radio in New Zealand an appointment was set up in Nouema with a local doctor just across from Pt Moselle Marina for when they arrived.

It was a bit of a long saga to get the gash to heel with many many visits to the doctor. But slowly, and I mean very slowly, we’re talking over a month, before it finally healed and Andy and Clare could get on with their cruising life and Andy could get back in the water once more.

And on that note it was time for us to drop the dock lines and explore more of this sub tropical Island.

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