Noumea – New Caledonia

Monday 11th February 2013

Noumea  is the capital city of New Caledonia. It is situated on a peninsula in the south of New Caledonia’s main island, Grande Terre and is home to the majority of the island’s European, Polynesian, Indonesian and Vietnamese populations. It is one of the South Pacific’s most industrialised cities. The city lies on a protected deepwater harbour which serves as the chief port for New Caledonia.

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After the exhausting day yesterday we decided to just go ashore for a stroll around the marina, market and town. When we arrived at the market we bumped into ‘The Shopping With The Chef’ tour where they were hoping to buy mullet and other fish for the next formal night.

From there we headed to the church of St. Joseph and inside found a stained glass window dedicated to Sainte Helene…she looked so serene and beautiful…just like me!!

Then we strolled through the gardens in the centre of the town. At the top of the gardens you could see The Quest and it really looked like the Captain had parked right in the middle of the town…Vance said is this Speed 3?

We then popped into the shopping mall where we met other guests and crew from the ship. We didn’t buy anything as we hadn’t changed any dollars into the local currency and none of the shops wanted to take US dollars…their loss.

Nice Hat Helen!!

Nice Hat Helen!!

Then it was back to our home away from home for coffee and cake. Noon drinks and lunch with Margaret & Brian quickly followed.

The Veuve Clicquot champagne now seems a distant memory but they have been serving a very nice Louis Roederer  for the last week or so but horror of horrors at lunch today we had a glass of the ‘Louis’ but when the refill came it was Nicolas Feuillatte again…oh no…they must have restocked at Noumea – does this mean no more champers for me until the other guests drink the ship dry again of the house bubbly.

We were glad that we didn’t change any money as Brian told us the tale of the great exchange rip off. He had changed up $100 to the local currency and was charged $10 commission for the privilege but when he came back after not spending much they then charged him another $10 to change back…Brian was not a happy bunny and Vance now calls him The Twenty Dollar Man.

During lunch one of the guests returned to the ship with a head garland made of flowers which quickly got passed around both guests and crew which made for some great photos.

We went back to our room for a late afternoon snooze and were woken by a local dance troupe on the quay at 5pm for the sail away so we decided to have our own sail away party just for the two of us on our balcony where we toasted the setting sun with Barcardi & Coke. This was so different from being at The Sky Bar for sail away – as much as we love the hustle and bustle and interaction with others…this was peaceful and serene.

We rarely use our balcony except when coming into ports in the morning but this experience has now changed our minds…who knows we may even dine there one night!!

Dress code this evening is resort casual again…definitely need more of these please Seabourn.

Showtime night was The Quest Factor featuring the hidden talents of our Seabourn Quest crew members. Four acts had got through the auditions and performed live for us…we guests held their fate in their hands. The fours acts were – Belly C. – Quest Tunes – Chantelle – and The Breadsticks. All four acts were really good but for originality and great dancing the guests voted for The Breadsticks. Tonight was the most full we have ever seen The Grand Salon at showtime…standing room only – well done Seabourn crew.

Techie bits: On the 11th of February 7am we were:
22° south and 166° east
Travelling on a compass course 308°
Speed = 13 knots
Wind speed = 19 knots from east
Air temperature = 26°c (79°f)
Total nautical miles sailed = 10010
Depth = 13 metres
Humidity 68%
Sunrise = 5:41am  Sunset = 6:35pm

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