Here we sit at the Isle de Pines on a very calm and pleasant evening. It has been a few days since I sent out the last email and have decided to fill in on what has been going down in the last week or so of the Rampart South seas adventure!!!! Well not a great deal, we took off to the Isle de pines on the Saturday after signing Melissa off onto Mosey Along, with the wind on the nose again it took time and diesel to get to where we needed to, but relative to the rest of the trip it was par for the course, got down here on the Sunday after an overnight stop at a bay on the southern end of New Cal, and then it was off to the land off WHITE WHITE WHITE sand beaches, this is the most beautiful place we have been in the entire trip!!! And one of the only places where you can swim off the beach not in constant fear of lacerating yourself on all manner of sharp corally bits and pieces!! Basically, we have j! ust hung around and caught up with the boats and in the bay and chilled on the beach, that was until this morning……


The great Isle of pines booster cannonball run!!!!!!! It was kind of like the Isle of Mann TT race except that it was only dad and I, we were on 2 -speed scooters (boosters), and the max speed was 80kph (downhill, revving the ring out of it with a tail wind!!!!!) my god we were fanging it round the island.


In reality we hired these little beasts for half a day to check out the rest of the Island… lots of amazing little towns, and we went to see two sets of caves, huge cavernous spaces and deathly quite, I crawled up in to a little off shoot at one stage and the twist in the entrance blocked off all the light and since there was hardly anyone around it was DEAD SILENT and I mean nuthin' could be heard, it even made the volume of your breathing almost deafening. Could not believe it, so there I was sitting in the dark and totally still and quite - it really is amazing how much you have to focus on not letting your mind freak out and over react to your senses in a situation like that, very similar to the time when we were diving on the SS Coolidge and the divemaster led us in to a dark corner made us hold on to an overhead beam and turn off all the flashlights, suspended there in the dark with only the f! lashlight fish to keep you company spooky man real trippy like, ya know (or should that be don't ya know - for those few midwesterners out there!!!).


Anywho, that was TODAY and lucky enough with that taking up much of the day we mostly avoided the 1500 Aussies that were traipsing around the beach, off the liner the Pacific Sky - 1500 AUSSIES YIKES. Strange to look out on the beach where yesterday there were probably a dozen holiday makers,  bunch a yachties, and a few dingies, to be suddenly inundated with wall to wall sunworshipers of ALL shapes and sizes. So that’s about the size of it - I'll keep you updated on the goings on as they happen - well probably a couple of days later - OK you got me you'd be bloody lucky if I get my ass around to sending this out so if you read this - count yourself lucky.


Its now the 30th and we're safe and sound in Noumea, left this morning to head to Baie de Pronie to stay overhight but got there at lunchtime and there was nothing much to see, just a big old bay with no beaches and a few old ruins from the missionary era, so it was time to high tail it around and head off to Noumea, another 5 hours away (we started at 5:15am). Had to pull the lures in to check them cos one was running kinda funny only to find it had been thrashed to bits with the leader shredded, half the rubber skirt gone and the acrylic head looking like it had been left down the garbage disposal…. Theres something out there with really sharp teeth and enjoys the taste of plastic, the other lure was fairing a little better but the leader has to be replaced. So that’s 3 lures lost, 3 destroyed skirts, and a bunch of traces replaced, with only 3 tuna, and a bunch of barracuda for the tri! p. The fish that spooled us in Vanuatu, after discussing it with some more experienced fishos seems as if it was a smaller black marlin, by what we saw on the surface - so not surprised it took the lot!!!


An otherwise uneventful trip except for the last hour or so where there seem to be small tuna erupting everywhere on the surface feeding on schools of fish around the place none on the lures, but these seemed to be of the smaller variety anyway so all good. We also came across a floating pontoon made up of fuel drums, steel and wood that seems to have been drifting with no owner…. We reported it to the authorities with its position and later heard a securitas announcment on the vhf radio that we assume was reporting this thingee.


So that’s it for the trip I'll be sending this tomorrow, and then we will be heading off after Rod and Lew get here on Sunday, until then its time to cruise around the big smoke of Noumea, ready the boat for the journey home and watch the weather fax for any sign of when we will be leaving !?!? next time you hear from me I'll be home sweet home looking forward to a NZ summer - and it better come damned soon cos Im kinda getting used to the whole endless summer idea…


Take care y'all



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