The Loyalty Islands lay out on the east coast of New Caledonia about 60 miles offshore. We headed out to Lifou which is the middle of the islands after a 14 hour sail, we left at 4 o’clock in the morning a couple of hours before sunrise from Boise on the south of the mainland so we could try and get in before sunset at 6. We were nearly home but the wind had picked up a little without us noticing it and when we tried to take the screecher sail in we hit a problem and only half the sail was in, the remainder was whipping around with the lines flying everywhere. Noel took controls at the helm and balanced the boat into the wind so we could drop the sail down on the deck. It was a frantic few minutes but everything came together and we turned back towards our destination. Its easy to sit there sometimes and become complacent when everything is going so well, the wind can slowly creep up at 1 knot at a time without you really knowing.
We couldn’t have asked for a better anchorage at Lifou, we turned the headland into a protected area and had a quiet night at anchor – just what you want after a long day at sea.
We walked around the area near to where we anchored but there was hardly any sign off life, the cruising guides say you should go and visit the chief of the village and take a gift if you want to go diving or snorkelling but it was very quiet, think it must have been a holiday – like they need a holiday when you live on a pacific island but I guess everybody needs a break !!
We moved up to the next island called Ouvea, more like a huge atoll, the beach is about 20 kms long with beautiful clear water and great sandy beaches.
Noel trying to flag a taxi, the beach was that long –
This is Mouli beach near the top of the island –
Can’t get much better water or beach than this –
A small resort Hotel Paradis on the beach had great chalets and a nice restaurant to relax in the evenings –
One of the local churches –
Beautiful clear warm waters –
A lone sailing club near Fayaoué, probably somebodys dream of having their own sailing club on a deserted island –
The Loyalty islands certainly have some tranquil spots and beautiful beaches, they are not over developed and as Ouvea is a UNESCO Workd Heritage site should remain that way.