Thursday, February 14, 2013


I can't remember much about my last trip to Noumea in 1968 or 1969 except that I spent the day with fellow cruisers quenching our thirsts on L'Anse-Vata Beach. 

Approaching Noumea
I set my alarm for 6:00am and ordered breakfast in my cabin so I could be up bright and early and view the sail in from my balcony.

A good start to the day
It was a beautiful balmy morning as we sailed past a few small islands and reefs to the industrial port in Noumea. Our huge ship, The Voyager of the Seas, is too big to pull up at the passenger port so, when we moored, I had a great view of the containers stacked on the wharf and the men and machinery working to move them around. 

Crew guiding ship into port
A local folkloric group of singers, musicians and dancers gave us a rousing welcome as we pulled in. Once this was over I made my way to the theatre to join the queue for my excursion on the Tchou-Tchou tourist train around the City. The organisation for this activity was efficiently organised.

Our carriage on the train filled up with "Green People" as we genealogists are becoming known because of the green lanyards we are all wearing for our cruise cards. As a lone traveller I enjoyed having the company of kindred soles. From the vantage points we travelled to in the train we got an appreciation of the picturesque island; those cruisers who did not take a tour thought Noumea was an unattractive place. As with many ports one visits on cruises one needs to move away from the CBD to appreciate the natural environment. I was pleased that I got to see  L'Anse-Vata Beach again and was sorry that I didn't have my bikini with me this time; the water here looked rather inviting.

Voyager of The Seas in port
L'Anse-Vata Beach
Following the train tour I had a walk around town, visited a couple of electronics shops (as one does on holiday), had a yummy ham and salad baguette for lunch then returned to the ship to prepare for my talk at 4:00 pm.

Historic Customs Building
Another stamp for the passport
The mood on the ship soured a bit around 5:00pm when the Captain announced that we would not be leaving port for another 24 hours and that we would have to skip Fiji as there was an electrical problem on the ship. This did not bother me too much as I am travelling for genealogy not to see the sights but the majority of cruisers were sorely disappointed.

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