It wasn’t really what I was expecting.
I was picturing turquoise water so clear I could name the brightly coloured fish swimming by; lazing around on top deck crisping under the hot equatorial sun; and a sky in flames as the sun dipped casting an orange glow back onto the harbour town we sailed out of.
None of this happened.
I am sure it could have. I am sure this is what Nouméa is about.
You never really know what a place is truly like when clouds cover the brilliance of the sky and everything it looks down on, and the wind picks up to chill your bones.
Poor catamaran sunset tour in Nouméa. It could have been so much better.
Come to think of it, it was a pretty dumb idea for us to go on it. We do have a five and a one year old. Both of which require eagle eye supervision when on a catamaran. Actually even when walking down the street.
We had just gotten off a much larger boat, one that doesn’t have sails, nor one you can jump off to go snorkelling.
The P & O Pacific Dawn is a little too big for that.
Going from one big boat to a smaller one is probably not the best way to explore a new town.
But, none of the other tours really floated my boat; the catamaran tour sounded fun and exotic.
It was in some ways.
Our guide was passionate and enthusiastic as he shared with us the history and beauty of Noumea. To be honest he made me want to come back to this French owned Pacific Island and explore more (He had a lot of jokes about this side to his culture).
I could see the beauty of the area especially where we went snorkelling. A small outlying barrier island with bungalows sitting over the water. When the sun peaked out briefly, the blue of the water sparkled and you could see through it. I’d like to come back and stay there.
I didn’t snorkel. I don’t do freezing water when the wind is blowing. Well, I thought about it until the shivering and squeals of everyone else dissuaded me. I never knew it would be cold up here in the tropics. Perhaps I had my geographical bearings all wrong.
What I did really love about the sunset catamaran tour was that it was a first for Savannah and Kalyra and they both really loved it.
It gave me such a thrill to see them as cute as little sailors in their orange life vests sitting on the stringed section of the raft.
And although I completely freaked out whenever either of them moved, I was happy that they were learning at such a young age to do things in life that might be a little bit scary. You soon find out you get to have a whole lot of fun as a result of conquering your fear.
Kalyra was even much braver than me to go swimming in the ocean with her Daddy and although she clinged to him tightly- nearly drowning him-you could not wipe the smile from her face. Adventures with Daddy are so much fun.
Savannah waddled around charming the other sailors on board and doing her best to participate in the hoist-the sails type jobs.
The crew were so friendly and helped to look after her. I felt a lot better to see the skipper’s wife with a four month old on board. They live on the cat permanently. In broken English she told me how only a few days earlier her two year old and fallen over board. Her reason for telling me this story was to verify the safety of the life jackets.
“No problem. They held my boy up.”
I’m so glad.
We sailed back into shore as the lights of the buildings blinked to take over from the sleepy sun. It was pretty, but the wind and night air became even colder.
We were happy to arrive back to shore and sit on land for a bit with a cold local beer and a plate of coconut shrimp, a delicious local French dish.
Then back to the big boat we went for a night time sail away from Nouméa.
Disclainer: We travelled as guests of P & O cruises