We visited Caroline and her girls on Topaze this evening to say good-bye (Christophe is away on a trip to in Francey). Always a sad occasion but sweetened in this case by Clementine from Eol also visiting with her kids Mathieu and Lea. We had met Eol in Galapagos and were sad to part ways back then, assuming that due to our different schedules and itineraries our paths wouldn't cross again. Nice to find out that we were wrong! Makes us hope that we'll be proved wrong again when saying good-bye to les Topazes and les Eols this time ;-)
A quick hello from Ilot Mbe Kouen, a little motu 12nm WNW of Noumea, just inside the main island's outer reef. We've come here after Nanas mother left last week and after a very nice dinner with Caroline, Christoph and their girls aboard Topaze. We've had a very nice two weeks while Nana's mother visited, with some in-land excursions and a day trip to the Isle des Pins (we just can't get enough of it...). More on those excursions later, when we have an internet connection again and can post some pictures.
Last Friday we had one of those special memorable evenings aboard Papillon. Between Martha, Audrey, Nicky and the three girls from Kyrimba there were six kids - and Nicky the only boy among them. He didn't mind and everyone had a good time, especially when the kids were singing "Smoke on the Water" on the foredeck while performing a dance that reminded us of the village dances in Vanuatu.
Maybe, in a few years, Nicky will look back onto these pictures and wonder "man - why doesn't this happen to me anymore?"
We're about 12nm away from tne entrance to the Canal de Hanvannah, the SE entry into the lagoon of New Caledonia. After leaving Port Vila in Vanuatu on Tuesday afternoon our original plan was to stop at Ile Mare in the Loyalty Islands east of New Cal.'s main island However, when we got there around mid day yesterday (Thu), a wind shift expected from a weak passing front had yet to materralize and none of the anchorages was tenable in a still northerly wind. Hence we raised the sails again to continue the 60nm to New Caledonia's main island.
We visited Vanuatu's National Museum here in Port Vila today. It's small but definitely one of the more interesting and more captivating museums. Edgar, the (amongst many other things) museum guide there has a special gift to interact with visitors and bring the exhibits there to life for them - in some cases literally as he he masterfully plays the musical instruments on display (he was actually invited to the 2012 London Olympics to give a demonstration there).
A quick hello from Dillon's Bay on Erromango where we dropped the hook on Friday (31AUG). Our friends on Victoria had already arrived a day earlier and we celebrated Niklas' 7th birthday with a fire and some singing on the beach for which we were joined by a local family on their way out to go spearfishing.