In Noumea, our friend, Chloe’ Morin of Noumea Ocean (www.noumeaocean.com), recommended an excellent rigger who came aboard and went up the mast in the bosun’s chair about eight times in all. The bottom line is that he discovered what had cut the reacher halyard. During the re-rigging in New Zealand, inside the top of the mast, the reacher halyard had been led incorrectly, and it took only one day for it to chafe through. It is no mean feat to cut through the extra strong line used for a halyard. The 20 meters of halyard then dropped down inside the mast. The next job was to fish this line out of the mast. The old halyard was end-for-ended, and a new eye splice made in the top end which was re-connected at the top of the mast. Each of the reacher sheets also received a new eye splice where a shackle attaches it to the clew of the sail. We were very pleased with the work accomplished by our rigger, George, and his partner, Charley.
ADAGIO was berthed for about two weeks in Marina Port Moselle, Noumea. The agriculture inspector allowed us to keep our New Zealand meat. I bought 500 grams of yellowfin tuna at the fish market, and resupplied our produce provisions at the wonderful Farmers Market next to the marina. The farmers market is overflowing with locally grown limes, bell peppers, pineapples, tomatoes, lettuces, bananas, mandarins, green beans, yams and much more. Imported apples, grapes and pears. It is a wonderful bounty, although the prices are high.
To sort out our huge reacher sail, when the wind was light in the morning, Steve hoisted while I spun the sail to untwist it. It had about ten twists in it from dragging under the boat. Meanwhile I sprayed with a hose as much of the sail as I could reach. The sail opened up and we were able to examine it, finding only one small tear in the fabric along the foot of the sail. We can fix that. She furled beautifully and we gave eachother another High Five!
We considered the passage from New Zealand to New Caledonia to be a sea trial or shakedown cruise after ADAGIO’s refit. If the reacher halyard proves to be the only weakness that was introduced by her refit, we will be pleased. Fingers crossed that there are no more hidden faults.
Noumea is a busy, happening place, currently with dozens of large mining trucks, on strike, parked below the windows of government offices next to the marina. Also a beautiful collection of paddling canoes lined up on the beach at Anse Vata for a festival. From our anchorage in Baie de l’Orphelinat, we have front row seats to the sunset sail boat races and the sailing school scrimmages.
It is beautiful and relaxing here. Just what we want. I am writing this from a waterfront cafe over a mochaccino, having walked here from the marina while Steve biked along the waterfront. On the way I bought chocolate croissants for lunch and a loaf of brioche for French toast.
All is well.