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Old 23-04-2011, 20:02   #1
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Fiji to Vanuatu or New Caledonia

I am taking 6 months off to travel around the world -part of my plan is to visit Fiji / Vanuatu /New Caledonia between 10 October and 23 October 2011. My idea is instead of flying or an organised sailing tour, I would try and crew on a yacht travelling this route (preferably cruising but more than happy with yacht deliveries, and if it worst comes to worst, cargo ship perhaps!)
Does anyone have any suggestions/advice on how to approach this?
  • Is there likely to be many crusing yachts travelling Nadi to Noumea (perhaps via Vanuatu)? Where are the likely to be coming from in the US / Hawaii / South America?
  • How far in advance would yachties be planning this and looking for crew? Or can I just turn up at Nadi marina?
  • What is the best way in getting in contact with yachties intending to travel this route? (Fax adverts to the local CYCs in Nadi / Noumea / Port Vila and further afield, post on these forums, ask at Sydney CYCA (my local club)?)
Any advice welcome as I'm not sure if this is a crazy plan or not!
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Old 24-04-2011, 15:06   #2
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Re: Fiji to Vanuatu or New Caledonia

Hi Ema

I am just about to head off to sail the Pacific Isles this season, leaving for the boat on Tues. So while this is my first trip and I am not experienced I will offer what little advice I have that might help.

There will be boats travelling in the direction you are looking at going as boats need to exit the area before the cyclone season. Generally accepted to be around Oct, Nov - April. If anything I would guess that you might be a little late and it would be a tail end charlie yacht you would be crewing on. Others will have more to offer on that. I know we intend to be leaving New Caledonia and the region around those dates rather than leaving Fiji for New Cal.

I would suggest you keep an eye on the crew wanted forum here on CF or even place your own advert in crew available also there are many other similar sites off the top of my head look at crew.org.nz or google.

I would also imagine you are right with your ideas to get in contact with both local clubs and those in the areas you are interested in to spread the word that you are keen and available. I have my doubts that turning up in Nadi would work for you...it is not as large as say Miami or Monaco lol and the chances of just picking up a position with only a limited, tight time frame would be slim I imagine.

Anyhoo good luck and I hope you get to enjoy this dream

Regards Clare:-)
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Old 25-04-2011, 15:17   #3
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Re: Fiji to Vanuatu or New Caledonia

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Originally Posted by EllanVannin View Post
Hi Ema

I am just about to head off to sail the Pacific Isles this season, leaving for the boat on Tues. So while this is my first trip and I am not experienced I will offer what little advice I have that might help.

There will be boats travelling in the direction you are looking at going as boats need to exit the area before the cyclone season. Generally accepted to be around Oct, Nov - April. If anything I would guess that you might be a little late and it would be a tail end charlie yacht you would be crewing on. Others will have more to offer on that. I know we intend to be leaving New Caledonia and the region around those dates rather than leaving Fiji for New Cal.

I would suggest you keep an eye on the crew wanted forum here on CF or even place your own advert in crew available also there are many other similar sites off the top of my head look at crew.org.nz or google.

I would also imagine you are right with your ideas to get in contact with both local clubs and those in the areas you are interested in to spread the word that you are keen and available. I have my doubts that turning up in Nadi would work for you...it is not as large as say Miami or Monaco lol and the chances of just picking up a position with only a limited, tight time frame would be slim I imagine.

Anyhoo good luck and I hope you get to enjoy this dream

Regards Clare:-)
Is your boat named after the mail boat that sank in the Irish Sea?
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Old 25-04-2011, 16:54   #4
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Re: Fiji to Vanuatu or New Caledonia

G'Day 101,

While your idea sounds good on paper, it doesn't really hold much water when inspected carefully.

Any time you hang a specific start and finish date on a cruiser, trouble looms. First, the time interval (13 specific days) is rather short. Even if your putative cruiser is actually ready to leave on the promised day (and that is not all that likely), weather can prevent a safe departure for days. In the early cyclone season there are often lows developing in the ITCZ near the Solomons or northern Vanuatu. The majority of them fizzle out, but every few years one develops into a named storm, so one has to watch them carefully, for their track crosses your proposed route.

At any rate, the distance from Fiji to Vila is on the order of 700 nmi, and to Noumea around 800. For most cruising yachts this means 5 to 8 days of sailing in moderate conditions. Could be faster, could be lots slower if the winds aren't there or something breaks. Thus, any delay of the start would mean that you would miss your (supposed) flight out. I personally, as one pretty experienced in that part of the world, would not undertake to deliver you on that sort of schedule.

On the other hand, there will still be lots of folks headed in your direction at that time. We don't usually make the trip back to Oz from the islands until late November or even early December. We do watch the wx carefully, and have cyclone anchorages sussed out ahead of time.

So, while I don't think it is realistic, I wish you luck in your quest.

Cheers,
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Old 25-04-2011, 18:12   #5
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Re: Fiji to Vanuatu or New Caledonia

Quote:
Originally Posted by ema101 View Post
I am taking 6 months off to travel around the world -part of my plan is to visit Fiji / Vanuatu /New Caledonia between 10 October and 23 October 2011. My idea is instead of flying or an organised sailing tour, I would try and crew on a yacht travelling this route (preferably cruising but more than happy with yacht deliveries, and if it worst comes to worst, cargo ship perhaps!)

Does anyone have any suggestions/advice on how to approach this?
  • Is there likely to be many crusing yachts travelling Nadi to Noumea (perhaps via Vanuatu)? Where are the likely to be coming from in the US / Hawaii / South America?
  • How far in advance would yachties be planning this and looking for crew? Or can I just turn up at Nadi marina?
  • What is the best way in getting in contact with yachties intending to travel this route? (Fax adverts to the local CYCs in Nadi / Noumea / Port Vila and further afield, post on these forums, ask at Sydney CYCA (my local club)?)
Any advice welcome as I'm not sure if this is a crazy plan or not!
Yes, there are a lot of boats in that region that started in either north or south america. There are also a lot of boats from OZ and NZ. Numea for instance is very close the NZ. So its natural for plenty of Kiwi boats to appear there- each with thier own final destination.

You may pick up a ride going from FNQ (cairns townsville) to the islands also. So it would be worth contacting the clubs up there. In fact I think contacting them would be more beneficial than the CYCA as the CYCA is less about cruising and more about racing these days.

Also ,there are usually several kiwi boats heading home after the Hammo series. It may be a bit early for you (sept). But that would get you to Auckland.

Also this forum has a great Crews page that both owners and crew use.

Boats already in the islands have done their trip planning and are in mid trip mode. So you may find they have the crew situation sorted. But there are always boats whose crews jump ship, get sick etc.

Either way good luck with it mate.
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Old 27-04-2011, 22:39   #6
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Re: Fiji to Vanuatu or New Caledonia

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Originally Posted by NorthPacific View Post
Is your boat named after the mail boat that sank in the Irish Sea?
Lol no...would be inauspicious eh.

Named by previous owners in hommage to his father and grandfathers boat likewise named. I presume his family originated there.

Clare
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Old 29-04-2011, 23:05   #7
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Re: Fiji to Vanuatu or New Caledonia

October is the wrong time to enter that area unless your only objective is to head straight out again. It is when everyone starts to think about leaving. Port Vila and Noumea are very busy through October with people coming in from the outer islands to buy groceries and paint their boats. After a few weeks in port they head out, mostly to Queensland. By mid November both ports are deserted and no one cruises anywhere but South.

Fiji is a mixed bag. Some stay for the summer while others stock up and head for NZ.

These guys have a cruise to NZ every October.
Tall Ship Sailing Holidays in the islands of the South Pacific

These guys organise a rally to Bundaberg every October.
Bundaberg Cruising Yacht Club
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