By Jenifer Rosser
Crossing the South Pacific offers a multitude of dazzling countries, islands, lagoons and reefs to enchant even –the most discerning yacht owners, guests, captains and crew. We have been fortunate to cross three times in the last fours years with our experiences and memories highlighting culture, diversity, stunning scenery, crystalline waters and spectacular cruising.
On our first crossing we only made a brief stop in New Caledonia for fuel and provisions before continuing “down under” to Australia. In 2016 we decided to do more research about the region and came to the conclusion it was worth spending more time to explore, cruise and use it as base for minor repairs, crew holiday and prepping for our eastbound return crossing.
Noumea is a cosmopolitan capital that offered everything we needed as a base including a secure protected marina, a multitude of options for provisioning everything from food to parts and supplies, international flights, and qualified tradesmen. Also there were plenty of restaurants, nightlife, and recreation including hiking, kiteboarding, surfing and a variety of cruising options to put together amazing itineraries for owner/guest trips. Our yacht agent, Chloe Morin of Noumea Ocean facilitated all our needs and wants with no request being too big or too small.
New Cal has the world’s second largest coral reef lagoon on Earth and it is possible to spend weeks just hopping around the lagoon and cruising out to the Loyalty Islands. The Loyalties provided beautiful beaches and spectacular snorkeling/diving opportunities, but the real wild beauty is found in the northern area encompassing the Entrecasteaux Atoll World Heritage Site, recognized in 2013 as a 2,000-square-kilometer no-take zone and a fully protected marine reserve. Special permits must be obtained to visit this area, which were arranged by our agent, but it compares second only to the Galapagos – on a much smaller scale in our experiences of up close and personal interaction with marine life, including marine birds, green sea turtles, fish and sharks.
The small islands are breeding grounds and landing ashore is only permitted in certain areas, but the abundance of life is incredible both above and below the surface.
If you’re planning to cross the South Pacific it would be a shame to miss this delightful country with its tropical playground, warm hospitality, diamond-blue lagoon, expanses of red earth, secluded beaches and up close marine life encounters.
Capt. Jenifer Rosser has been in the yachting industry for almost 20 years. She and her partner, Capt. John Crupi, have been with the M/Y Dorothea program for more than 15 years, now running M/Y Dorothea III, a 147-foot Cheoy Lee. For more information on yacht services and cruising in New Caledonia, contact Morin at +687 713 723, firstname.lastname@example.org or Newcaledoniasuperyachtagent.com. Comments on this story are welcome below.