Sailing Tips when Cruising in New Caledonia
It's on the Cruising Guide
Frederique and I have been cruising the South Pacific for over 40 years aboard our 14.5m cutter Moira. I am a Ph.D. marine scientist and have been living aboard my own boats since 1958. Freddy's ancestors were sea people. We first came to New Caledonia in 1981 and have, over the years, pretty much cruised everywhere. We began making the Cruising Guide to New Caledonia in 2000 and have constantly updated it with new information and photographs ever since. The message here is that the information on our guide is reliable, practical, and easy to find. Whatever you need to know about cruising in New Caledonia is on the guide. You don't have to go online for any of it. There is so much information on the guide you'll probably never see it all - but when you need a suggestion, an idea, or a really clear idea of what you'll find if you go to a likely looking anchorage - you get it right away. As many captains have said, it's the best cruising guide they've ever used.
Staying Healthy while cruising
Frederique and I have been cruising in very remote areas for a long time. We have to rely on each other for any medical emergency and have become specialists in preventative medicine aboard a cruising yacht. We've included a section in our guide on how to stay healthy when cruising in the south Pacific and what to do if you have a problem.
Two technical aids we consider vital to remaining in good health are fresh water and protection from insects.
We used to catch rainwater with a very large awning I designed for the Moira. It really put lots of water into the tanks when it rained and is still in perfect shape after 20 years of use. Here is our yacht awning.
But it doesn't always rain enough to keep the tanks full with constant use and we solved our freshwater problems with a watermaker. I strongly urge all serious cruisers to get a watermaker. There are many different brands on the market and it takes a bit of research to find the right one - but it's really worth it.
This is how we prevent malaria and other diseases carried by insects:
The best Dinghy Davits for long time cruisers
When cruising extensively - and not sitting somewhere in a Marina - you absolutely need a substantial dinghy. Cruising with a tinker toy dinghy just doesn't contribute to happy and safe cruising experiences. But one of the major hassles of having a good dinghy is getting it aboard and launching it. Ideally you'll want to keep it out of the water every night to minimize fouling and prevent some low life from stealing it while you are sound asleep (the voice of experience, there). We found the ideal davits for our 3.6 meter long RIB with it's 20HP 4 stroke Yamaha Outboard. Have a look at our amazing automated dinghy davits.
Treasure Map to where to buy things in Noumea
When you need to find a part, a supermarket, a tool or some hardware, someone to fix something aboard your yacht, our cruising guide has an interactive map showing you where to find just about everything you might need when you come to Noumea. Believe me this is sometimes very hard to do without our guide. For one thing, the French Yellow Pages are totally incomprehensible. Try to look up something - even if you know the correct French name for it - and you will quickly become amazed at how difficult it is to find something in French Yellow Pages. Getting directions to a store from a French person is often difficult, too - even if they speak English. One reason is the names of the stores in French are so long everyone abbreviates the store names. So they say something like, "Try ETC and if they don't have it check out ATF or GLT or maybe SOPEMA."
It's all so easy on our guide. Point to "Supermarket" and you will see exactly where the supermarkets are located, overlaid on an aerial image of Noumea. Click on the industrial area of Ducos to zoom in to the rabbit warren of streets where Noumea hides all the parts and supplies you need. If you don't see a particular store someone told you about, it could be because we have found them to be untrustworthy or quick to price-gouge non-French speakers. We send you to places we know and trust. And they don't pay us anything so it's not about advertising.
Shipping parts and goods to New Caledonia from the US
Every yacht needs to order parts and supplies and while Noumea has lots of things you might need there are some things you won't find here and will have to order online and have shipped to New Caledonia. That can be a nightmare if the place you need to order from won't ship to New Caledonia. If you want to solve the problem of ordering and shipping to wherever you happen to be cruising use a professional mail forwarding service and your shopping and shipping will be easy, quick and economical.