Day 157, Year 2: The Ugue-ly Side of New Caledonia
Date: Friday, September 28, 2007
Weather: Beautiful Day; Winds ESE 10-15
Latitude: S 21 degrees 08.979 minutes
Longitude: E 165 degrees 32.624 minutes
Location: Baie de Ugue, Grande Terre, New Caledonia

We traveled almost fifty miles down the coast of Grande Terre today and are anchored in the Baie of Ugue tonight. We are calling it the Baie de Ugue-ly as it is the home of a huge nickel strip mine. The exposed soil on the tops of the mountains is a rusty orangish-red and erosion has caused gashes of that same color running down the mountains through the green vegetation. The mountains look like they are bleeding. And these mines continue as we head even further south, so I think we will see more
of the same tomorrow.

The southeast trade winds are kicking in over the next few days. We had to motor into head winds today, but at least we were behind the reef and had fairly calm seas. We could have headed straight to the Loyalty Islands which are basically the same direction, but without the protection of the reef, we thought the ride would just be no fun. We will go further southeast tomorrow and then we should have a nice angle of sail for getting to the Loyalties. The key words here are “should have.” The
winds and waves have a mind of their own, and no matter how much planning and data gathering you do, you are just never sure what you will really get once you are out there.

The goal for tomorrow is Anse de Lavaissiere. This anchorage has no nickel mine, but it does have white sand beaches, a deserted village to explore, and snorkeling. Sounds much better than Ugue-ly. I still have this hacking cough and probably won’t be snorkeling, but Mark, Paul, and Marie might get to jump in and explore New Caledonia underwater.

070928 Day 157 Grande Terre, New Cal–Hienghene to Baie de Ugue