South Pacific, 2.40 pm Thursday 29 th April. 20 degrees, 28 minutes south 168 degrees 15 minutes east.

As we close in on Tanna Island, we finally enjoy some good sailing conditions. Overnight was a truly magical evening of sailing on the South Pacific. A full moon, gentle breeze, smooth seas, and still averaging better than 6.5 knots. All without the help of the motor, just silence and the wash of the sea against the hull.

Today is a lazy day on board Chimere. Bob has just resurfaced after his mid day nap, Nick, spent most of the morning asleep on the saloon couch, then progressed to the deck for a rest, then back down to the saloon lounge again. Andy surfaced, made us some lunch, and has retired once again. Martin disappeared earlier today and remains, we presume, asleep in his bunk.

Noumea is now well behind us. It never ceases to amaze me how small our world can be. The day after our arrival we were joined by another boat on it’s way to Australia, from Mexico, on a delivery voyage. The crew are from Melbourne, one of them living in the same suburb as myself. So it goes. Other cultures always lay in wait with many surprises. While doing some food shopping one morning Andy and myself found ourselves in a small delicatessen type shop. When Andy presented the shop owner with a note larger than he had change for, he just handed the items over and said “tomorrow”. The feeling of the place was like that. While trying to exchange dollars at a bank, I was advised to go to a special ATM as the bank would charge 2000 frank commission. Such blatant honesty, trust and helpfulness.

We did spend a few hours at “La Bout du Monde” having a few of Bob’s favorite “No 1” The second evening we had pizzas, made by a French person, in New Caledonia. So it goes.

With repairs completed, and the decision to leave on Wednesday made, all that was left to do was to have our last dinner in Noumea. We found a nice restaurant where Nick astounded us once again with his eating prowess. Contemplating the menu, and the challenge of the half kilo steak, he decided to accept, and well, didn’t even look like faltering.

As the writing of these entries goes, this one has taken a few hours, with various interruptions. Bob wanting help re setting the sails, daydreaming on deck, etc.

At this stage all bets are in on our time of arrival. the results will be posted tomorrow (hopefully), at which stage our new address will be Tanna Island.

Bill Vrijens