Noumea: ADAGIO at Maitre Islet

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ADAGIO is on a mooring on the leeward side of Maitre Islet, just 3 nautical miles from Noumea. Our South African friends, James and Lorna on their cat MIND THE GAP are here as well. The island is a marine reserve with a small resort. Like other resorts we have visited in New Caledonia, the Coral Palms resort looks sort of empty, although there were occupants in several of the bungalows built over the water with a ladder going down into the water from each unit.

We went ashore yesterday to explore and walk on the beach. An osprey family had built a nest on the flattened top of a columnaris pine. One osprey was soaring, a second was in the nest, and a third osprey was perched on the top of another columnaris pine. There was much communication going on, and lovely soaring.

As we walked around the resort grounds, we found numerous petrel burrows. Like the shearwaters in Tasmania, which migrate 15,000 kilometers to the Arctic and 15,000 km back to Tasmania each year, these birds are fattening up for the breeding months. This morning we snorkeled over to the nearby reef which is between ADAGIO and the shore, and followed lots of big, colorful fish around. We saw a medium sized clam with leopard spotted lips, long-spined black sea urchins, and lovely coral. I’m looking forward to snorkeling again tomorrow. We built a dive flag float by attaching our flag to one of our dinghy fenders and hanging weights from the bottom of the fender. It worked great!

Rick Shema, ADAGIO’s weather router, emailed that November 1st or 2nd is shaping up for a possible departure to New Zealand. Steve has been studying the weather models and evaluating Maxsea routings. The 2nd looks the best right now.

There are several other boats here – some locals, some waiting to sail to New Zealand or Australia. A young family is aboard the sailing catamaran named TRAVELER that is moored next to us. We thought they were French, until the young man/owner dinghied over this morning to ask if we needed any groceries from town. He said that he was going to town to get some baguettes and croissants for his family. I said, yes, we would like some, too, as well as some eggs and bananas. He is one of the kite-boarders that sail every afternoon on the windward side of the island. It turns out that they are from Vancouver, Canada, and have been in NewCal for 18 months. Their little boy was born here. Small world.

All is well. We are having a relaxed time, with our crew learning how to load their digital photos into Lightroom on our computer, for cropping and editing. We have quite a gallery developing with our four cameras shooting…

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