Sunday 10 May, 3.42 pm (70 miles from southern tip of New Caledonia)

Maybe it’s the sea air – there’s quite a bit of that out here, maybe it’s the big meals – we’re working our way through the cook book (and pantry), or maybe it’s the constant exercise – we do walk around a bit, but we are all doing a healthy lot of sleeping.

After about 16 hours of engine chug, chug, chugging, we now have a very lively breeze from the SW, seas of only 2-4 metres and a speed of around 6 knots. Very acceptable. It may even be calm enough to watch another movie tonight.

Our direction is about NE as we close on the Isle of Pines at the southern end of New Caledonia about 70 miles away (that’s about 12 hours – or about 4:00am tomorrow). From there we veer slightly up a bit in the direction of Tanna Island, with the Loyalty islands passing to our left. (I won’t even attempt the French spelling) Martin was suggesting we raise the French flag because we are in their waters – something about curtesy or some such thing. I’m keen to keep it in its plastic bag. The wind and sun will wear it out – and who knows, a ship of the Line might spy us, mistake us for Frenchies and lob a warning shot through the portholes amidship … aagr. (Too many episodes of Hornblower I suspect … Mr Bush) I think we need to remember that Martin lives on French Island, (for those not familiar with Melbourne, that’s the other big island in Westernport, next to Phillip Island, home of those cute little penguins) so straight away his motives must be brought into question. Coming from French Island, though, his English is quite good.

So as we prepare for another evening meal, by having another nap in my bunk, I say farewell from the good ship Chimere

Smooth sea, fair breeze and just a few more sleeps

Rob