After waking up to the alarm clock at daybreak yesterday morning and checking the weather for our sail to Ile des Pins, we decided to stay put and enjoy some magic in Anse Majic, given that the forecast indicated at least 15 Kts of wind on the nose. With that we went straight back to bed.
Once we surfaced again, we'd no sooner enjoyed a cooked breakfast when Time Bandit hailed us to find out why we hadn't left. Turned out they'd changed their plans to sail onto Noumea as well. As a result we ended up spending a very pleasant day in their company and that of their friends off Randivag (Lisa and Sven).
The day started with a dinghy ride ashore, followed by a fabulous hike up to the lighthouse on Cap Ndoua, where we enjoyed spectacular sea views out towards Canal de la Havannah, Ile Ouen and Ile des Pins and mountain views over Grande Terre. By the time we returned it was mid-afternoon, which meant a nap was definitely in order. Ro y also made more temporary repairs to our headsail, since the tape didn't last at all. Sometimes we just have to shake our heads in dismay at some of the yachting products sold, which are definitely not "fit -for-purpose". What's more irritating is that usually we've long since left the destination where we've purchased these products, so there's absolutely no recourse.
We wrapped up our day with all of us congregating on Time Bandit for sundowners and enjoyed the opportunity to exchange adventures of our sailing season, given that we'd all sailed to different destinations in Fiji and Vanuatu. Having enjoyed our very unexpected day together and, since we're all continuing west over the next month or so, we said our goodbyes in the hope of seeing each other again somewhere in Australia.
It was a case of "take two" this morning, only this time we were up at daybreak to enjoy very favourable winds. Under full sails and a bright, crisp, sunny day, we sailied at speeds of up to 8 Kts on a beam reach, with numerous flocks of migratory birds for company. We were literally surrounded for hours as they flew past Paw Paw. Then, as we entered Baie de Kuto on Ile de Pins (aka Island of Pines) we spotted dugongs to our starboard side, but this didn't compare to the breathtaking views that awaited us as we anchored - Snow white powdery beaches, trimmed with the most unusual looking pine trees mixed with coconut palms, lapped by gorgeous clear turquoise waters. It didn't take us long to beach the dinghy so that we could start our reconnaissance and the scenery just got better with each step that we took.
First stop was the local store, where we purchased an ice-cream. Then we walked to the hotel for some refreshments on their verandah and savoured the scenery, before returning to Paw Paw to enjoy a fabulous sunset. Paradise indeed!