Saturday, 3 December 2016

New Caledonia and "Down Under"...

From Fiji we headed to New Caledonia.

As we are coming back here next year, we only stayed a couple of weeks.  

We went to an amazing art and cultural centre - The Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre


There was an exhibition on from a New Zealand Sculptor which was extraordinary.
His "Bottled Ocean" exhibition all made from plastic!

Fay and Phil (Jigsaw) told us about The Down Under Rally,
so we decided to join this to pave the way into Australia.
John and Leanne organised for Customs, Immigration and Bio Security 
to clear us all in at Bundaberg Marina, 
we then had a week of fun and seminars about cruising the Australian coast.
It was worth every cent, very professionally run and a really informative and fun week.

It was Melbourne Cup day, John and Leanne organised for us to go to the races

Leanne and Me
Catherine and Me

You know you're in Australia when you see these 

They had a aboriginal from the local tribe play for us at our Welcome Dinner

At one of the seminars, Geoff from Bundaberg Marina had a tray of vegemite sandwiches for the people to try - the look on some of the faces was very amusing!

Now this is what we call a good sized chilly bin (or esky as they say in Oz)

We had an auction for crabs, then had crab races (the money going to Volunteer Marine Rescue)

Geoff and the team at Bundaberg Marina were fantastic.
We highly recommend Leanne and John from Down Under Rally... it made arriving in Australia very easy and the information we received was only what you could get with local knowledge.

Danny from Rockstar doing some kite surfing while we all waited to head across the bar at Wide Bay

We made our way down the coast, stopping at this gorgeous spot 
and walking the sand hills with Carola and Jim (Koza)

Jim and Richard
Coming into the waterways at the Gold Coast there are some pretty amazing houses

You know you're in the Gold Coast when...

So, then it was time to hauled out again for antifoul touch up, cut and seal, sail drive work etc etc, all the usual preventative maintenance.  Our Rose is really a very pampered girl!
The Boat Works is by far the best yard we have even been hauled.
The contractors here have also been absolutely awesome.

Our neighbour was the "New" Pirates of the Caribbean boat (movie not yet released)

Our Rose about to go back to the water where she belongs...
(stack pack yet to be reinstalled from being resewn)

We were lucky enough to be invited to The Boat Works Christmas party.  
The theme was to dress us as someone using the first initial of your name - this lady was dressed up as Medusa (yes the python was very alive and real!).

Some of the amazing team from The Boat Works

This was some christmas party!.. beer, wine, rum shooters, pizza ovens with fresh pizzas, and toys to play with - motorised skate boards, bikes and trikes

Richard working out one of the boards
this guy is amazing

The Boat Works have 2 utes and a car you can use for "free"
Driving around over the weekend, the colors are gorgeous

Yesterday a barge turned up and on it was a vehicle that looked like it was from "Mad Max".
Had to go over and find out what it was about.  
A guy called The Candy Man was having his Christmas party.  
The theme of the party was "7 deadly sins".
He had organised 80 bikini clad ladies, 
there were 5 helicopters flying around for his arrival, jetskis, waterskiers, fireworks.  
Held just around the corner from here at his home - The Candy Mansion.  1000 guests!

These are some of the photos of the girls (and the man himself) arriving onto to barge...

Some of the fireworks from his party

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Race Week and the rest of Fiji...

Fay and Phil (Jigsaw) had invited us, 
along with Carola and Jim (Koza) to crew with them for Muscat Cove Race Week.

What a "FUN" week it was...

Pirates Day was not to be missed, with the requirement to dress as a Pirate or a "Castaway".
Water Bombs and Water Guns were at the ready as we headed to Beachcomber for the festivities.
We were "kidnapped" by Pirates

made to walk over hot coals, 
Richard, Carola and Jim having walked hot coals
before being given a shot of rum (11am in the morning!)

Everyone had dressed up, and the day rolled on

Andy and Paul

Fay and Phil
Jen, Fay, Fijian Hottie and Carola...

Alan, Jim, Phil, ?, Bill and Richard

Another day was the race to the Sandbar,

One of the competitions here was the "hairy chest" competition
The judges (women) had to stroke the mens chest and decide on a winner
(don't ask what the Woman competition was hahahaha)...

guys in hairy chest competition
There were also Hoby Cat races, which Richard entered with 8 year old Will from Yollata
(what a gorgeous location!)

They won their first heat, and got to race again, to be pipped at the post...

However, Phil and Jim also entered and were the Champions!

Receiving their prize for 1st in the Hoby Cats (Jim and Phil the 2 centre guys)

The "Big" race was the round the island race...
Jigsaw and Out of the Bag are the same design, so the rivalry race was on!

Would you believe, we lead the race and got beaten by Bill by 1/2 a boat length over the line

The view we had behind us for 98% of the race...
THANK YOU to Fay and Phil for such a awesome week (and Carola and Jim too)...

After Race Week, we headed to Robinson Crusoe Island where we attended a dinner and show,
it was fantastic...

Unearthing the Lovo

Walking the Hot Coals
We then headed up the Yasawa chain, seeing some lovely scenery, both above and below water

We thought the reflections off this small cruise boat were lovely

A Restaurant on Denerau Island - "cool"...

So its "Goodbye" to beautiful Fiji, we would love to stay longer!
Tomorrow we clear out and head 700nm to Noumea...
Vinaka Vaka Levu Fiji