As you travel around the world by boat, occasionally you have to stop somewhere to have boat maintenance and/or repairs performed. After all, the definition we most hear about cruising is: “Repairing your boat in exotic places.” Along our way, we’ve done this a few times like in Grenada, New Zealand, and now New Caledonia.So far, the experience in New Caledonia has been pretty nice. We are paying some hefty fees for the marina – they are charging us about 35% more for our slip because we are a catamaran (wider than normal boats). And, the cost of living here is higher than many of the countries we have been. But, there is a modern infrastructure (backed by the French government), good food, good shopping, and sightseeing to do. The Internet has been a little tricky to get reliably, but that’s common outside of the US and a few other countries apparently.
We spent most of our first week here organizing the parts we need to effect our repairs. A lot of my time was spent researching and discussing the new batteries we were going to order, and then a couple of days attempting to organize a wire transfer. Unfortunately, we didn’t get all the details set up in time for the wire to go through before the holiday weekend back in the US. So, on Monday I just paid by credit card and paid a 2.5% surcharge. Given the costs for the marina, it was worth it to get the order going. The batteries will hopefully be sent by plane today (yes, these batteries are rated to be shipped by plane), and we hope to get the customs entry going by Friday. If all goes well, we’ll have them done by the middle of next week.
Now we are just stuck here in the marina while we wait for the parts to be shipped. We need the shore power to keep the boat systems running. So, we have begun doing some sightseeing and shopping and some socializing with other boaters. Yesterday, some friends of ours on the boat s/v Worral Wind arrived from Vanuatu. They had a rough passage and some of their equipment broke. So, they will be effecting repairs like us for a while. We enjoyed lunch, and some drink in the evening with them.
I spent some time showing Richard, of s/v Moira, some tricks you can do with Google Earth. And, how to use a VPN to enable him to do more with the local Internet here in a safe way.