27/09/2014 – En route to New Caledonia

We cleared out at Luganville, Vanuatu on Thursday afternoon, too late to get the duty free fuel. Early next morning, 0700, John shot across in the dinghy, laden with 10 empty 20L cans. The fuel is sold in 200 litre drums and usually we only have 180 L capacity, however we managed to empty the two stroke can and pressed that into service. It took nearly 3 hours altogether so we weren’t ready to drop the mooring until about 1130. I’m not sure where the time went! Since then we have managed to sail a bit, motor quite a lot and motorsail the rest of the time. We are intentionally aiming east of our destination if possible because the winds are forecast to make life rather difficult on Sunday but that may change. It was a very dark night with only an 11% waxing moon which set before 2000. The stars were quite bright though there was some cloud cover. At one point it sounded as though a puddle of water was landing on the deck but it wasn’t raining. I got a torch to investigate and found a flying fish in the scuppers. He isn’t big enough to fillet for breakfast. On the subject of food, New Caledonia has strict regulations concerning meat, fruit, vegetables, seeds, eggs etc. Our task is to eat all the meat in the fridge and freezer before we arrive so we are making a valiant effort. I think the vacuum packed, ‘Product of New Zealand’, Best Before sometime in 2015, deep frozen leg of lamb will be O.K. as it meets all their requirements. Lunch yesterday was scrambled egg, bacon and Boudin Creole (a black pudding without fat as in the UK, also without rice as in the Med) wrapped in a tortilla wrap. Tasty but messy! We had Moroccan lamb shanks on couscous for dinner, a meal I’d cooked and frozen when we were in Fiji. We have a lot of bananas which might be permitted however I intend to make some banana bread and fill the freezer with it to replace the meat. The tuna and mahi-mahi fillets should be O.K. We are both fit and well, just a little sleep deprived as the swell and waves hitting the hull makes the boat rather noisy when you are trying to sleep. Joyce

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