Day 163, Year 2: Hanging Out in Ouvea
Date: Thursday, October 4, 2007
Weather: Another Perfect Day
Location: Mouli, Island of ouvea in the Loyalties, New Caledonia

If you were going to pick a spot to just “hang out” and wait for the weather, this is great choice. The scenery doesn’t get much better and the weather is beautiful. I just wish there were more underwater possibilities. We have now seen the island and explored the tribu of Mouli where we are anchored. Mark and I rode our bikes to the end of the island today and went snorkeling. The point of the island was beautiful and the water was clear and warm, but we saw very little coral and only a few
fish. I did succeed in finding at least one anemonefish family, my goal for every snorkel, and there were some pretty parrotfish. But it was not a snorkeler’s delight.

We explored some side roads on our way back to Mouli. One led us out into an undeveloped area and the other led us to a wharf built in 2005 to accommodate cruise ship transports when they come to Ouvea. We headed back to Mouli and we saw Paul and Marie and Donna and Gerry walking up the road. We caught up with them and chatted. Donna, Marie, and I spotted some beautiful beetles. They unfortunately look like Japanese beetle relatives, but their colors were bright and beautiful, so we spent time
taking some photos. The guys headed on to the little store. They were looking for the man we rented cars from. Ranger and Scot Free still owe him for some fuel, but the store was closed and no one was around. We talked and waited, but even by 3:45 PM the store was still not open. We gave up for today and they will try again tomorrow.

We have a least one or two more days here before we can take off for the the Iles of Pines. When we do leave, we will have to travel for a day, a night, and arrive in the late afternoon of the next day. Mark and I have been looking at the latest weather information trying to figure out if there is any way to leave here sooner and still have a good ride south, but it doesn’t look promising. If we do have to wait another day or two, I will work on naming photos and studying our next location.

Now I have a question for those of you reading this log. We have been using cloth napkins thinking that choice is better for the ocean environment than throwing paper napkins overboard. But in a conversation with Gerry on Scot Free II, he pointed out to me that washing cloth napkins and throwing laundry detergent water overboard is actually worse for the environment than the paper. But then I am going to have laundry detergent water anyway when I wash our clothes, and I just include the napkins
in that wash. So is it really worse for the environment to use cloth napkins? If you have thoughts on this, please send them as a comment. We won’t be able to read those until we reach Noumea in another week and half or so, but I will be interested in what you think.