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Old 05-12-2007, 14:09   #1
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Thumbs up Brisbane / Sunshine Coast to Noumea - Advice Wanted :)

Hi all,

We are planning a sail, our first serious offshore, to New Caledonia next year and are considering doing this in July. I would love to hear from anyone that has done this journey before with recommendations on marina's in Noumea, the weather this time of year and any useful, or otherwise information, that may help with planning.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-12-2007, 16:21   #2
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Hi kar1,

Firstly, welcome aboard and what sort of boat?

When we left it was about April I think, June would/should be better still.

Arriving at Dunbier passage call Port Mosselle marina and they will allocate a berth for customs clearance which may take a couple of days for them to arrive.

They did not come below on our boat so we could have bought more stuff in.

Everything there is hideously expensive compared to OZ /Asia

Highly recomend bowls of coffee and toasted baguette for breaky at the markets near marina.

Ice (Glace') is available in Noumea, but near impossible to get elsewhere.

LPG can take several days to get filled even though it is close to town.

You can't buy cold beer unless in a bar.

The charts are not entirely acurate (coral has grown since the 1700's)

Take a few spare Halco 5 inch barra spoons and piano wire, Tazar (spanish Makeral are plentiful)

Have Fun

Dave
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Old 05-12-2007, 19:29   #3
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Here's my NC cruising notes from 2004 as well as some travelogues:

Cruising New Caledonia
Noumea
Aventures dans le Grand Sud
Île des Pins
Disloyalty

July should be a great time to go. Assuming your trip will take about a week, I'd allocate at least three to pick your weather.

Clearance in was very easy, just radio Port Moselle and follow instructions. Navigation in the established channels is pretty easy, but I'd definitely wait for daylight for making the trip through the barrier reef into Noumea.

Never had a problem with either the French or Admiralty charts (or digital) vis-a-vis the three main channels, but obviously, most of the lagoon is poorly charted daytime-between-10-and-3 territory.

It is expensive, but I don't think that it is that much more expensive than Sydney... The marina was quite economical, food, a bit less so.

-Scott
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Old 05-12-2007, 23:48   #4
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We arrived there in May '99 and left in July but don't suppose things have changed too much since then.

As weather conditions were favourable we passed through the reef at night. We found the leading lights at Armadee perfectly correct as with all the navigation lights leading into Port Moselle. At 1 a.m we anchored in the Roads until sunup as we were a bit unsure where exactly to berth. They did question this in the morning but weren't overly concerned.

Customs and ag arrived within 2 hours of our calling them and did not go downstairs at all and were most friendly and helpful. We did not admit to how much grog was on board. We gave them 1 old tomato and a couple of potatoes which they seemed embarrassed to take.

Charts both electronic and paper we found surprisingly accurate. We also had a good cruising guide book which was extremely helpful. (I cannot remember the name of this book but will be on my boat back in NZ next week and can let you know then, if you like).

The markets were good to shop at for fresh fruit and veges (and les croussants etc), which we did not find too expensive. There were a few back street restaurants which offered a 3 course meal for approx $30-$40 per head. (Nomal prices could be more than double that for a main only). The cruising fraternity at Port Moselle should point the right direction. The supermarket was well stocked and the cheap cask wine was delish.

The Marina round by Circle Nautique Yacht was also friendly and helpful.

LPG was only available in Noumea. Can't quite remember the details but we were in and out of there within a few hours.

The weather was mostly fine though we were holed up in Port Bouquet for a week of extreme wind. (How sad, we had it all to ourselves). We lived in shorts and T-shirts though the locals were rugged up in sweaters etc as it was the middle of winter.

If you know a little French, it would be extremely helpful but even just to attempt a few words gets a giggle and usually a reply in English.

And last but not least : Can we come too!!!!!!!! ha ha just kidding.

Have a safe and wonderful trip.

Cheers
Kiwikats
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Old 06-12-2007, 13:20   #5
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WOW

Thanks for the great information all - I really appreciate this.

Sounds like it is a good time of the year to head over then... I am excited about the trip and not sure I can wait ' til then, but commonsense prevails and there is a lot of planning and preparation before then. (I will be sailing a tophat 25 over and most likely singlehanded so I have to ensure it is all done correctly.)

My only real concern at this point is the prospect of then being so close to the solomons that I may as well head there afterwards, and then PNG and maybe... ha ha... I think a hefty mortgage, 4 young kids and work will lure me home !

I would to sail in company also if anyone is heading over next year!

Cheers and thanks

Karl
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Old 17-12-2007, 21:31   #6
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Hi all,

My friend and I are planning to do this same trip in the not too distante future. We assumed you'd need a bigger boat though.

What size boat is recommended for this type of trip?

Thanks
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Old 17-12-2007, 22:20   #7
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I'd like to do it in a 70 footer but did it in a 30 footer

Dave
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