Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chesterfield Reef

We stopped in Chesterfield Reef, officially part of New Caledonia, for a couple of days to break up the 1000 miles passage between Vanuatu and Australia, and the choice was like icing on the adventure cake. The little motus, or islets, that make up this fairly large circular atoll are untouched by humans and completely uninhabited, unless you count the animal life, and particularly the boobies and frigates that lay their eggs and care for their young right there in the middle of the sand. We saw leatherback turtle prints indicating turtles had come ashore almost nightly to lay their eggs and head back out to sea. The water was a bit cold for swimming although that didn't stop the kids. We spent time with friends re-allocating food - some canola oil for flour, rice noodles for garlic, beans for more sugar. We took the stopover opportunity to clean the bottom of the hulls and inside food lockers in order to better prepare for Australia's strict quarantine rules.

Harrison and some friends spent the night ashore in their self-built teepee, and had such a great time that we didn't see him until the following evening after a full day of building rafts, lighting fires and cooking food on them, and creating fishing lures from coral. He was so exhausted when he returned to the boat that he slept 14 hours and then continued a nap the following day.

We are currently about 300 miles from landfall in Australia at Bundeberg. I still can't believe that the adventure is almost over.

21 degrees 15.521 minutes South
158 degrees 54.926 minutes East
At 11/8/2011 09:01 (utc) our position was 20°46.03'S 157°25.86'E

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1 comment:

  1. What an experience you've all had and what a great way to bring this adventure to a close! A new phase of your lives is about to start, and I'm sure it will be just as exciting, but this time on solid ground which will be much easier to reach...