FUN-travel: Slow Boat to Singapore – 8th Port – Nouméa, New Caledonia – Day 19

February 19, 2016 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Slow Boat to Singapore – 8th Port – Nouméa, New Caledonia – Day 19 

Saturday, February 13th 

  • A market is a market is a market…

…except when you are in the city dubbed the “Paris of the Pacific.” This very French and very cosmopolitan city is home to La Marché, the colorful multi-hexagonal shaped downtown market. With each building organized by its specialty, just steps from the first one my nose knew – it was the fish market!

10 Noumea, New Caledonia 2016

  • The fresh produce section had lots more options than previous markets and more that I actually recognized. And the curries and spices weren’t hard to spot when I rounded the next corner.
  • Taking a different route back to the ship led us through China Town, decorated with bright red paper lanterns criss-crossing the street.

15 Noumea, New Caledonia 2016

FUN-fact – Offshore is one of the longest barrier reefs at just over 1,000 miles, second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef at 1,200 miles long. And home to 350 species of coral and 1,500 species of fish.

More FF – New Caledonia’s protected lagoon covers almost 9,000 square miles, making it the largest lagoon complex in the world.

  • Today’s excursion – Snorkeling at Signal Island – took 40 minutes by boat. While the water was a bit cloudy, I saw more shapes and colors of coral than ever before. They ranged from periwinkle to peach, mauve to milky white and soft pink to purple. The shapes were incredible and bizarre at the same time. And so vastly different with some looking like brains while others were spiky with starbursts of color on their tips. As for the fish, the usual suspects with a nice school of barracuda but no Nemo’s.
2 Noumea, New Caledonia 2016

View From Our Balcony

FUN-cocktail – Cable Car – Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, orange Curacao, fresh lemon sour served in a sugar & cinnamon rimmed martini glass with an orange twist.

  • Chris says, “You make these islands sound so wonderful when in fact they have their flaws.” Well, I never used the word pristine! And my first long distance view did color my perception, which was not the actual reality once I got “up close and personal.”
  • Hawaii is looking really good right now. Not that far, not that hot, and not that humid!
5 Noumea, New Caledonia 2016

Heading Out of the Harbor

FUN-travel: Slow Boat to Singapore – 7th Port – Maré Island, New Caledonia – Day 18

February 15, 2016 by · Comments Off on FUN-travel: Slow Boat to Singapore – 7th Port – Maré Island, New Caledonia – Day 18 

Friday, February 12th 

  • A beach is a beach is a beach…

6 Mare Island, New Caledonia 2016

….the sand comes in different colors and coarseness

….and the water pretty much covers the full spectrum of blues and greens.

30 Mare Island, New Caledonia 2016

  • Today’s adventure took us from the tender, to a small craft market along the dock, to the free shuttles. And this island had more of the same lush landscape of coconut palms and huge canopied trees contrasted by towering pines. After a 20-minute drive they dropped us at Yejele Beach where we plopped ourselves down.
  • Today’s beach was so pebbly and sharp it made water shoes a must. The strong almost rip tide current made it impossible to venture too far out. But lucky for us clusters of coral reefs ran the length of the shoreline at a depth of only three feet. The fish were plentiful and easy to spot in the crystal clear water. They varied in size and color from teeny electric blue, to lime green with black stripes, to mid-size pale peach, and soft gray with yellow.
28 Mare Island, New Caledonia 2016

Our Waterfront Bar & Grill

FUN-fact – Maré at 42 miles long and 20 miles at its widest, is the most southerly of the Loyalty Islands.

8 Susan's B-Day, New Caledonia 2016

  • And today I celebrated my 4th “Surprise Birthday Party at Sea” with four lovely couples! And not one of them was born in the US – all from the UK and one from Prussia.

FUN-family fact – My niece Kellie’s birthday is the 11th and because I am a now a day ahead, we are both celebrating on the same day!

10 Susan's B-Day, New Caledonia 2016