The last part of the passage to L’Ile de Pins is uncharted, so the maps couldn’t tell us when we were going to bump into reef. The only way is to climb up the mast and keep a good lookout.

Fred is more afraid heights and arguably better at sailing, so it was my honourable duty to go above. It doesn’t look too high in the photo… It is. That terrified wave was the bravest thing I’ve done in ages. Along with managing to hang on after the fright of seeing hammerhead shark swim by.

We arrived without running aground, or my tumbling from my perch, so all was good. A cruise ship was in town and we went ashore with some fanfare, through a flower garlanded arch and had our photo taken. Didn’t have the heart to tell them we were but scruffy cruisers, but that should have been obvious (we’re getting grubbier by the day).

There’d been a large swell for past few weeks so the supply ship hadn’t been able to get to the island. Things had gotten so bad, that we went to refuel, the petrol station had just run out of both petrol and diesel. There seems to be only 3 shops on the whole island, and the shelves in each were running bare.

We spent 2 weeks altogether cruising around L’Ile de Pins. And in all that time we still didn’t catch a fish. It’s becoming a bit embarassing. We did have one very successful clam collecting expedition, combining 2 of my favourite activities: beach combing and food, and managed to be self sufficient for all of one meal. There was even a coconut for dessert. We were lucky enough to find one untouched by the coconut crabs.

However, we paid a high price. Lacking anything more suitable, we used the drill to bore our way in through the tough shell. An untimely wave resulted in one delicious dessert, and one power tool overboard. No more diy for a while.

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Location:L’Ile de Pins

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3 Responses to Overboard

  1. Keith Cairns says:

    It all looks and sounds wonderful. I would NOT have shinned up that mast for love or money!! No head for heights!! New Caledonia? Was there a bit of a rebellion there a few years ago? The French Imperialiasts had to send over a ferw battallions of troops to quell the natives?!

  2. coisy family says:

    alors Katherine, tu es en grêve? nous attendons de vos nouvelles!
    emmanuelle, antoine et les filles!

  3. Mike says:

    We were thinking of bareboat chartering in the Ile de Pins and have two questions:
    1. Would it be suitable for relatively experienced sailors?
    2. Is it possibly to find secluded bays easily or are there generally boats around (we prefer the former).
    Thanks for your help!

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