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Old 20-09-2016, 19:47   #1
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Huon and Chesterfield Reef

Hi all
We are planning to cruise New Caledonia and Vanuatu in 2017 again and would like to stay at Chesterfield and Huon Reefs either in or outbound. Does anyone know contact details in Noumea or elsewhere to ask/apply for a permit.
thank you
SV Muscat1
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Old 23-09-2016, 22:04   #2
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

Permit?? We don't need no stinking permit.

The normal thing is just to show up. If a patrol boat comes (they used to visit every 5 years or so), plead ignorance and beg forgiveness.

The only time that I heard of the cruisers getting busted, the patrol boat told them that they were to follow them back to Noumea and headed into the teeth of the trades. The cruisers hung a right for Australia, and the patrol boat kept going.
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Old 24-09-2016, 00:26   #3
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Permit?? We don't need no stinking permit.

The normal thing is just to show up. If a patrol boat comes (they used to visit every 5 years or so), plead ignorance and beg forgiveness.

The only time that I heard of the cruisers getting busted, the patrol boat told them that they were to follow them back to Noumea and headed into the teeth of the trades. The cruisers hung a right for Australia, and the patrol boat kept going.
Yes, I remember that incident too, Don, and they "got away" with it. The downside was that they felt that they could never return to New Caledonia, and regretted that state.

But you are correct in that lots of permit-less folks have visited those reefs over the years, including us, and with no repercussions. Last year in Noumea we were told by locals that the authorities were not concerned with the short stay yottie visits, but were quite concerned about poaching fishing boats from other nations, and that they did flyover inspections fairly often. I guess you just take your chances if you visit without permission.

Another bit of info: if you make the written request for permission (and I do not remember which agency is involved) and if you keep a printed copy of the request to show anyone who questions your presence, they will not press the issue, knowing full well how long such requests languish in the inbox before being considered and answered. I can not personally verify this, but it sounds likely to me!

Interesting places, fantastic bird life, adequate tradewind anchorages, accurate charts... pretty special!

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Old 24-09-2016, 01:28   #4
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

Both well worth visiting, and virtually on the rhumb line from Luganville to Bundaberg. Huon was very comfortable even in 35kts +.


We had a permit for Huon on our way east, didn't get one for our trip back to Aus. You'd be very unlucky to get caught. Claim mechanical problems!
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Old 24-09-2016, 15:17   #5
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

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We had a permit for Huon on our way east,
44, do you remember the name and address of the issuing agency? It has escaped from my very leaky memory!

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Old 24-09-2016, 15:19   #6
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

No, can't remember, sorry. I think it was Customs in Noumea.


I'll see if we still have the document stored though.
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Old 24-09-2016, 22:29   #7
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

I'd suggest calling a French consulate.
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:36   #8
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

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Originally Posted by 44'cruisingcat View Post
No, can't remember, sorry. I think it was Customs in Noumea.


I'll see if we still have the document stored though.

Although I have not applied personally for the permit (in the end we chose another route, not going through the Chesterfield Reef), I also believe that it is customs in Nouméa who issue the permit, and if I remember correctly, they used to ask that you apply at least 2 weeks in advance.

Their email address is port-noumea@douane.finances.gouv.fr and their website, which you can Google Translate if necessary : http://www.douane.gouv.nc/portal/pag.../formalites_ad

Also please take not of the following bio-warnings (which you can also Google Translate), issued by Affaires Maritimes (sort of the equivalent of Maritime or Transport in Australia). Making the best in this regard will ensure that yachties are not seen as loose cannons and eventually banned from the area.

http://www.affmar.gouv.nc/portal/pag...n/Chesterfield

I quite like Jim's idea of keeping a copy of your request even if you did not get an answer. Although I also can't assert it would work, it very much might get you off the hook in case you are unluck and found there by a patrol boat.

A final suggestion when applying. As it is done in many other countries if you apply in English : start your email with "Version française ci-dessous" (i.e. French version below), then type your request in English, then after a separator paste the Google Translation to French of your request. Although it might seem too simple, and although the translation will be far from perfect, it will save time to the person reading your email. In fact, most of all it will show that you have been through the effort of doing so, and most probably would be much appreciated. In the end, that might get you a speedy reply, whereas an email in English would intimidate anyone (they might speak basic English and that would be fine in a personal context, but they could feel that their English is insufficient to reply well enough in a professional capacity) and they will put if off until later (meaning forever). Just my 2 cents...


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Old 12-10-2016, 08:38   #9
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

As far as I remember the guy who crushed his brand new Amel there did not have any permits.

Rich guys can more?

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Old 12-10-2016, 16:22   #10
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

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As far as I remember the guy who crushed his brand new Amel there did not have any permits.

Rich guys can more?

b.

Interesting you say that as we are laying alongside the gentleman you refer to in his Amel here in Tkehau. He is out cruising again. The story he told us was he did not have a particular reef on his electronic charts. Hit the reef and they were lucky to be rescued. Even now it's very upsetting to him that it happened. Luckily no one lost there life.

We like Jim cruised both those areas in the 90's without a permit and had no issue. I do remember Huon Reef with hundreds and hundreds of nesting turtle tracks on the beach. I at first said " oh crap looks like some one drove on the beach with a tractor". Tractor tire marks look similar to the marks turtles make as the climb up the beach looking to dig a nest. Haha how dumb is that?

An amazing stop like a National Geographic moment.

Cheers

Chuck




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Old 12-10-2016, 16:55   #11
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

Yep. Must be the guy. Got another Amel and gave it the same name.

Makes me wonder if he is using the same charts too ;-) ;-) ;-)

Every $ 0.10 xerox of a relevant chart shows the reefs.The free stolen CM93 show them too.

Recently this has been matched and surpassed by that VOR jockey 'navigator'.

I heard anchoring there is fine and diving is said to be superb.

Hope to be there one day too.

Cheers,
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Old 12-10-2016, 17:57   #12
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

I think he mentioned it was called Moore Reef?



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Old 12-11-2016, 19:07   #13
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

I was in the Chesterfields in the late 80's. Did have a patrol boat come and the came on a inflatable armed to the teeth. scary one man came aboard, chatted a few minutes and as he left wanted to know if we needed any fuel or water. Fantastic diving there but very aggressive sea snakes. First time I saw a sail fish under water.
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Old 13-11-2016, 05:55   #14
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, fromfiji.
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Old 24-11-2016, 20:40   #15
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Re: Huon and Chesterfield Reef

Planning on visiting Chesterfields in a few days time enroute new cal to Bundaberg. Permission is by emailing dam-nc@gouv.nc department of conservation. Very quick and agreeable response received the next day.
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