Day 178, Year 2: Port to Port Rally Gathering
Date: Friday, October 19, 2007
Weather: Sunny, Windy Day; Winds ESE 15 (Down from 20-25 in the AM)
Location: l’Orphelinat Bay, Noumea, New Caledonia

Today started on a very windy note out here in the Baie de l’Orphelinat, and even though it still sounds very windy, things have settled back down a bit. We spent our morning reading through land-based emails we received yesterday and found that our boat insurance expired yesterday unless they had received a filled-out questionnaire from us. We had asked our daughter Heather to deal with this for us, but we didn’t know yesterday was the expiration date. We knew Heather and Jed had taken Sam to
Boston for some tests today, so we waited until we thought they would be home to call. Heather had taken care of everything, so hopefully we still have boat insurance. Thank you, Heather. Insurance is a good thing since the marina we are going to in Australia won’t let us in without it. Heather also had good news about Sam for us when we called. His terrible cold is getting better and all of the tests at Mass General Hospital today verified that he has no serious problems with his digestive
system. He simply has an immature system resulting in a bad case of reflux. This wakes him up and that is the reason he sleeps in very short stints. So if the parents can survive, he will be fine. Tomorrow is his nine-month check-up with his regular pediatrician, so I know he’ll be glad when all of the tests and shots are over with. We are supposed to do a Skype video call first thing in the morning, end of the day in the eastern US, so we can see Sam. He is trying his best to crawl, and we
are anxious to see him.

Next we headed to the Port Moselle Yacht Club, packed for the day and the evening activities. Mark spent the better part of his day at the internet cafe again, this time making reservations for our plane trip home from Australia. We have ended up deciding to stay in Australia until after Thanksgiving to give us time to get all of the boat work done before coming home. We are planning on staying in the US until the first of May, and will have to leave Bundaberg as soon as we arrive in order to
get to Darwin for the Sail Indonesia Rally in late July. We would have a more leisurely trip if we could return to Australia by the first of April, and we will do that if work schedules allow. We based our current reservations to meet time schedules imposed by some possible job opportunities that might not even pan out. We were afraid to wait any longer to make the reservations, so hopefully what we have decided will work out for us. While Mark did this, I did a walk about town trying to find
large envelopes for mailing things home. I had to walk all the way across town to the information center to find out where to go. While in that part of town, I went to the Museum of Noumea to buy museum passes for us, for Ranger, and for Scot Free II. I made a quick tour through the museum while I was there, but the serious touring will start tomorrow morning. Of course, the place I needed to go to buy mailing materials was back across town where I started, so I hiked back, taking in the downtown

This evening we attended a “get-to-know you” function with other cruisers participating in the Port to Port Rally. We will all be heading to Bundaberg sometime during the next week. This rally is organized basically for the fun to be had in Bundaberg once we arrive, but it was nice to meet others face-to-face that will be on our radio sched as we cross. We met one young man, Garrett, who is crew on Silkie out of North Carolina. Garrett lived in Boston while getting his Masters in Aerospace Engineering
at MIT and we enjoyed talking about the marinas in Charlestown. He had done a lot of sailing out of Constitution Marina, and we lived at Shipyard Quarters Marina, just a few piers away. We very much enjoyed talking with some of the cruisers from Australia about what we might expect during our passage and once we arrive.

Tomorrow is museum tour day, Sunday morning is market day, and Monday is check-out and fuel up day. If the weather cooperates, we will be out of here on Monday afternoon, but we will just have to wait and see.

Day 179, Year 2: Museum Marathon--Mix of Nature and Culture
Day 177, Year 2: A Day in Noumea