Island Paradise of Ile Ua

Sailing the New Caledonia lagoon

Sailing the New Caledonia lagoon

We finally left Iles des Pins on Sunday intending to make our way back towards Noumea so we could freshen our provisions, and complete one of our boat projects. We wanted to stop at one of the beautiful islands in the south lagoon, so we headed for an island called Ile Ua. There are lots of 360 panoramas of that spot in Google Earth taken by our friend Richard Chesher of s/v Moira (e.g. see this one). The day started out a bit cloudy, but soon the sun broke out and the wind picked up a bit. We were soon sailing our way out of Iles des Pins and had a perfect sail to Ile Ua making 8-9 knots at the end of the trip through the shallow waters of the lagoon.

If you haven’t experienced sailing, its hard to describe the thrill of sailing on a beautiful day. The wind rushing through your hair, the sun shining, shadows from the sails mixing with the sunlight causing a constant contrast of colors on the boat. The sense of speed is fantastic, especially when going past beautifully mixed colors in the shallows of a lagoon. It’s enhanced even by the thrill of dodging around the shallow reefs that could otherwise cause damage or sink your boat! But, we had the right light and could easily see the shallow rocks ahead of us (plus we have charts to help).

Check out the photos of our trip to Ile Ua:

View full-sized with descriptions

We passed lots of islands along the way, most with beautiful white sand beaches around them. But, we were not disappointed by Ile Ua which had its own beautiful beaches and colorful coral surrounding it. I was treated to some pretty coral reefs when I went snorkeling after we arrived. And had a really nice walk around the island in the morning.

Zoom into the map to see more of the island, or zoom out to see our track of our sail from Iles des Pins.

View Island of Ua in a larger map

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