If freedom from government
oversight is your goal, Chesterfield may have a problem for you. Officially one must seek and be granted permission from the French gov in Noumea to visit there. In years past this has been enforced, with arrests and fines levied. More recently the enforcement has been lax, and to my knowledge no hasseling of yotties has happened... but the rules are still in effect.
There are two anchorage areas, one behind the sand cays in the SE corner of the reef, and one behind Long Island
near the Western entrance. The SE one is good in normal tradewind wx, the W one ok in westerly winds, but not in trades. The navigation
is not difficult in the area between the two... a very few large bommies, all on the french charts
(AFAIK) and they are about twelve miles apart, so in theory one could switch back and forth. We have simply put to sea when a W'ly change threatened...
The Isle de Pins is indeed beautiful, but hardly free from population, and is over run with tourists daily. Further, huge cruise
ships call regularly, dumping a couple of thousand additional sunburned and mostly bored "cruisers" into Baie de Kuto which is the favored anchorage for yotties.
But, there are indeed some great, isolated and unpopulated anchorages
in New Cal
. Most of them lie to the North of Noumea and very few yotties go in that direction. I would tell you where they are, but then I'd have to kill you... As an American you are granted 90 days when you clear into NCal (recently upgraded from 30), there are no fees
, and the process is painless.
And the food
is wonderful if a bit pricey!