Sunday 30 October 2022

10-2022 Arriving in Australia

Hi from Clare       10 -2022 Arriving in Australia                29th October 2022



Well dear friends, we arrived in Australia from New Caledonia a week ago. We had a very good six day trip mostly sailing on a broad reach in slight seas. We left Noumea on Saturday15th October knowing that we needed to arrive in Bundaberg by Friday night 21st  before the forecast strong opposing winds and rain. As it turned out we arrived early Friday morning in plenty of time and with a nice yellow fin tuna caught on the last day. Our sailing friends Liam and Annie on Gone with the Wind arrived soon after.


So this completes sixteen years of cruising overseas. We have travelled 49 thousand sea miles and visited 51 countries. What a wonderful experience seeing both the lifestyles from the very rich to the very poor. We have learnt a lot about other people and probably even more more about ourselves. It has been both a privilege and a humbling experience. Fortunately we were lucky enough over the years, to share many of our adventures with family and friends visiting Eye Candy for holidays. Our thanks to you all.


Andrew, Clare and Eye Candy


When first arriving we were directed to the quarantine dock. This is a locked area on the wharf where we stayed until Customs, Immigration and Bio Security Officials came to the boat. We were not allowed off the boat and no one was allowed onboard until we were finally cleared into Australia.


Liam, Annie and Andrew on the Quarantine Dock

All the Officials were very nice and very thorough. The Bio Security lady checked all food stuff being brought into the country and then she did an inspection of the boat for bugs. All wood on the boat was looked at carefully. She opened cupboards and lockers and even crawled around on the floor with a torch looking along the edges of the floorboards and in every nook and cranny. She found one little bug, sealed it in a plastic tube and took it away for analysis. She wasn't too concerned about it and described the bug as a hitch-hiker. Could have come on the boat yesterday, she said. We had cleaned and washed our vacuum cleaner, which she inspected. If there was dust in the vacuum cleaner she would have bagged it and taken it away. We were very impressed and glad to know that Bio Security is protecting our country against any unwanted bugs.

Since arriving we have had Eye Candy valued. Because Eye Candy has not been to Australia before we must import her and pay 10% GST and 5% Import Duty. This process takes about a week to 10 days to complete. Until then Eye Candy has to stay in the harbour of Bundaberg.


Our arrival into Australia was enriched by our friends Colin and Denise flying up from Sydney to join in our celebration. Yes, it was patently clear by their smiling faces that we had arrived in Australia and not just another destination. We spent a few days together, popped a champagne cork and had a celebratory dinner. We even managed a trip to the Bundy Rum Distillery to stock up on their boutique liqueurs. We introduced Annie and Liam to Col and Denise and the six of us had a great night out to dinner exchanging sailing stories. We found we had a lot in common, not surprising.


Andrew, Colin, Denise at the Bundy Distillery


We will slowly make our way south to Sydney. We hope to spend Christmas and New Year on Eye Candy on Sydney Harbour catching up with family and friends. As we have now completed our goal and arrived in Australia this is our last newsletter It is definitely time for me to Blog Off.  We hope you have enjoyed sharing our travels and thank you for keeping us company along the way.

So stay safe and our love to all.

Candy xx


Sent from Mail for Windows


Wednesday 12 October 2022

9-2022 Sailing New Caledonia


Hi from Clare,  9th October 2022

We are thoroughly enjoying the sailing ground around Nouméa.

Generally speaking the wind drops out at night and picks up again mid morning. So we soon learnt how to use the weather pattern to get us to and from the many Islots within the lagoon. Once behind the Islot we get protection from the wind and the sea is flat because the lagoon is surrounded by reef. It’s just an easy place to sail and we have had some fabulous trips

Because of Andrew’s leg injury, we have needed to return to Nouméa twice a week for Doctor’s visits. We have made the most of our limited freedom by visiting nearly all the nearby Ilots. We have been in company with Aussie mates Liam and Annie on ‘Gone with the Wind’.


We spent a few days on Mbe Kowen Islot, what a beautiful quiet spot anchored in about 10 meters of clear water. We swam in the shallows and watched the kite surfers just out from the Islot. The daily routine was a few chores on board, walks on the beach, relaxation and drinks on shore at sunset.

MBE Kowen – Eye Candy 3rd from the right

We sailed out to Isl Laregnere to join NZ friends Ted and Adrian on ‘Otama’ who commenced their passage to Australia the following morning. We had drinks on the beach and wished them fair winds. After a seven day trip, they are now relaxing in Gladstone.

Our Gathering – Andrew, Ted & Adrienne, Liam & Annie


Back to the Doctor on 30th September. He is happy with Andrew’s progress, although we would like it to be much faster. He gave me new instructions for dressing the wound and set us free for two weeks – thanks goodness.


So ‘Eye Candy’ and ‘Gone with the Wind’ sailed forty miles back to Prony Bay at the south end of New Caledonia. There is lots to explore here and some interesting characters to meet. We anchored in Carenage Bay which is a hurricane hole as there are hills all around, glassy water and gorgeous scenery.

View of Prony Bay – Eye Candy anchored to the right of the Bay

There are many bush walking tracks, fresh water rivers, cascades and a hot springs plunge pool.

Liam and Clare enjoying the warm pool

On one of our walks we met Gil a Frenchman who has leased some land in a remote area by the river for the last thirty years. He is a keen gardener and over the years he has planted trees and shrubs around his space. Nine years ago he moved in permanently. His lease is reviewed annually and if not renewed, Gil has two weeks to vacate and remove everything.

Gil and his Dog

This would be quite a feat as Gil has built a shack, a shed, a chicken house and pen. He also has a water tank with fresh water coming from the hill, a solar panel array, an outdoor area and Pizza oven, a car and a small tractor. He met us dressed in a sarong only and was quite a character. He is passionate about his country. When explaining the history he said it had been raped three times for wood, chrome and now nickel.

Gil’s shack in the windeness


Old Prony town is quite interesting as in the last century it was a convict settlement. There is an old goal and some pretty graphic pictures and tales of punishment for misbehaving convicts. The settlement was there to log the timber. Today this pretty town is a base for a kayaking business and bush walking adventures.

One of the punishments – looks awful


Our boats on the moorings

The gathering of Aussie’s and NZ’s cruisers


We left Prony Bay Saturday and sailed with ‘Gone with the Wind’ back through the Woodin Passage towards Noumea. This is a narrow passage with a current running in and out with the tides. It’s important to get the timing right as wind against tide would not be pleasant. This is the fifth time we have sailed through here. The passage is five miles long in the narrow section. We whistled through there with a part jib only and 3,8 knots of current with us. It was like a sleigh ride, woo hoo!


We met Christian yesterday, Andrew has been talking to him on a Radio Net for a few months and previously in 2019. He has just arrived in New Caledonia after sailing his yacht from New Zealand via Lord Howe Is. Christian in ninety years old, a keen spear fisherman and he is now our inspiration. He said “no use sitting at home on the couch complaining about aches and pains’ Wow!


View from Ouen Island – Eye Candy on the left

We are now anchored at the Island of Ouen some twenty miles from Nouméa. A lovely beach with an uninhabited resort, only a caretaker present. The weather is windy but we are OK here.

This place is so relaxing Andrew fell asleep on the beach.

We need to be back in Noumea on Wednesday for - you guessed it, another Dr’s appointment. We are also attending an information session on Thursday afternoon about checking in to Australia and importing the boat. After that we will be seriously looking for a weather window to cross to Australia. The trip should take us about six days, we will keep you informed of our departure date.

So until then stay safe and our love to all.

Candy xx