Isle of Pines……

October 19th – 22nd, 2011 (Eastern Hemisphere)

Dear F&F,

Well, after a good nights rest, we were still so tired from the previous days trip, we just chilled out for the day, cleaned up, did the laundry and boat chores to recover from the previous days passage. Jerome and Nathalie came by and gave us the lay of the land as well as inviting us for puu puu\’s (appetizers) and drinks that evening.

Jerome\’s Mom was aboard and it was lovely to meet her that night. We had a good time and Jerome designed our touring agenda for the next day\’s car rental \”self tour\” around the island.

The Isle of Pines is very beautiful. Just like it\’s name, there are pine trees, but everywhere with a tropical background. Much of the Southern part of the main island of New Caledonia is similar. Driving here was on the \”right\” side of the road, so I drove as Kay is used to the \”left\” side of the road. We drove first to the North side of the island and took in the scenery. (See New Caledonia Photo Gallery). Then to the East side of the island and the Hotel Meridian. A strictly 5 star event. We walked to the Piscine Natural (Natural Swimming Pool) and stopped at two different restaurants along the way. Kay was disappointed that reservations were required. She loves to experience local cuisine. We got a feel for it all in any event and she enjoyed a swim at the Natural Pools…

We also went to another 5 star hotel and visited the large Catholic Church. It all reminded me of some Hollywood movie from the 1950\’s. A step back in time. The varieties of Pines were interesting to see and the weather accordingly is cooler here than most Pacific Islands. After a quick trip to the market, we prepared to watch the weather and get ready for the 5 day sail to Brisbane; home for Kay. The \”Window\” was about to arrive.

The next day we were prepared to go, but it was still really rough outside. The prediction was to drop off over night and we decided to wait one more day. I didn\’t think Kay needed another \”Birthday Bash\” to start our voyage. The risk was that we would hit the expected low pressure system coming off the Eastern coast of \”OZ\” (Australia) as we would arrive in Brisbane. I decided to make sure of a first easy day\’s passage (given the last one!) and that\’s why we decided to wait. AND, in five days the weather predictions would most likely change; the low could be weaker or even gone.

Next…..our sail to the magical land of Australia. There of course, we might even meet \”The Wonderful Wizard of OZ\”?….. Stay tuned, almost there…..

Scott with Kay, getting ready to go!