Weather Helmed

an adventure in renewing the spirit and living the dream…on a sailboat

Weather Helmed

Weather waffling and McDonald’s in Noumea

November 1st, 2010 · 2 Comments · Fellow Cruisers, Life on the Boat, New Caledonia, On Safety, Passages, Random Thoughts, shoe-cruising

Hello!! I don’t know if I ever updated where we currently are, but we are at the Port Moselle marina in Noumea, New Caledonia. New Cal is an island country that is about 800 miles east of Australia. I was very excited because our guidebook hailed Noumea as “the Paris of the Pacific.” hahahahahaha I laugh at the preposterousness (is that a word?) of the guidebook’s claim. Noumea is NO Paris, I can guarantee you that! But,it does have some restaurants and a few nice boutiques, and there are yummy pastries and baguettes and here at the marina, we have nice hot freshwater showers and we are just minutes away from the daily outdoor market. I was disappointed at first that it didn’t have more of a parisienne charm, but I have resolved myself to enjoying Noumea’s strange vibe and, since the weather between us and Oz is looking pretty crummy, what more can ya do? 🙂

Ah, the weather. For the last two weeks, few people on the dock have talked about anything else. Every internet cafe has several cruisers in it, all looking at various weather websites, trying to determine whether and when it’s safe to leave. One minute, tomorrow looks good, the next minute, we hear everyone’s waiting another week. The prognosis changes by the hour. There are a couple of weather routers we’re listening to as well – people based out of Oz or NZ who get paid to tell cruisers what the weather is doing. We are currently getting reports from IO & Totem who are communicating with weather router Bob McDavitt. So far, despite our initial doubts, he has been right on the money as to what is happening out there in the Coral Sea. So, all of us here on the dock sit and wait and check the weather four times a day, hoping that a magic wand will wave the 50kt winds away and give us 15kts out of the E for a good seven days in a row.

While we wait, many of us hang out in the McDonald’s across the street. They have fountain drinks (ice!!), oreo mcflurries, air-conditioning and, most importantly, free, relatively fast internet. Hallelujah! Entering through the sliding doors and sitting down and being enveloped in that COOL albeit fast-food-fried, greasy scented air is pure luxury compared to melting in our claustrophobic cabin. I know people blame places like MickeyD’s for the downfall of local cafes, but sometimes, *sometimes*, it is SO GOOD to see those huge, yellow, familiar golden arches glowing above the street, announcing a comfortable place to rest one’s weary bum and a warm meal to fill the belly, those perfect golden arches like a happy, guiding light leading us home.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Sandy

    Karen, I too, once loved seeing the golden arches in Denmark when I was craving those salty french fries! Teatime was interesting at first with smoked salmon and cheese on dark bread. But soon the yearning for something salty and deep fried took over. Funny what we miss when it’s not available! Love you, Sandy

  • Ankitha

    My brother and I felt exactly the same when we first moved to India in 2001, after growing up in the US, and saw a McDonald’s there. Ah, the loveliness of those golden arches. Lol. 🙂

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