We completed our nearly 800 nautical mile passage from New Caledonia to Bundaberg, Australia in just 4 days, 2.75 hours. Thanks to more wind than forecasted, we arrived a day earlier than we planned. The weather was really pleasant with only a couple of light rain squalls the entire trip. We did have some bouncy seas and strong winds during the last 18 hours of the trip. But, they reached a peak of 25-30 knots for just an hour or two, after that they stayed in the 20-25 knot range. Because we had advanced warning, we steered a bit south of course and kept the winds and waves behind us. So, the extra winds just gave us a faster passage.
Although it was windy, the skies were clear and sunny and it was nice and warm. We had a very pleasant arrival into the well-sheltered river location for the Port Bundaberg Marina. We arrived a bit past 1 PM and were told to anchor in the quarantine area, and anchored next to our friends on s/v Boree who arrived an hour or two before us. We had to wait for two other boats to clear, including Boree.
Fortunately for us, the clearance officials wanted to complete our entry before 5 PM. They were very professional and thorough, but it kept the length of the process to a manageable time. The Australian quarantine inspection was the most thorough we have seen to date. Their primary concern was insects, with particular attention on the wood. They checked all the nooks and crannies of our wood furniture throughout the boat. We got lots of compliments on the quality of our wood and that it was professionally built. They also checked all of our foods and confiscated several things they do not allow. This is normal for many countries, and we knew Australia would do this, so we had attempted to consume as much of the prohibited foods as possible. A couple of strange things they took this time was popcorn, and empty egg shell cartons (since we had consumed or thrown out the eggs).
We were done by 5 pm local time, so we went ashore to meet up with the crew of s/v Boree. We also ran into our friends on s/v Trim, who have been here for two weeks. A short while later, we found the restaurant and bar at the marina and after some celebratory drinks, we had some dinner. It wasn’t long before we all decided to head back to the boats and start catching up on sleep.