Today we arrived in Noumea, New Caledonia, which based on the name you would expect is English speaking, with a Scottish Heritage. But no, it is in fact a French Territory. New Caledonia was first discovered by Capt Cook on his 2nd voyage and since it reminded him of Bonnie Scotland, he named it New Caledonia. In the 1850’s, the French turned up, claiming the island for France and since the British never responded, it has remained French to this day. However, they are holding another independence referendum in September.
Afternoon Tea with Fruit Scone, jam and cream
Today the weather abated significantly, but we are still at the edge of a Cat 3 Tropical Revolving Storm (Cyclone), so the ship is still rolling & pitching somewhat. We arrived in Nuku’alofa Tonga just after Noon, for an overnight stay.
With only a couple of days to organise, the ship did an excellent job arranging a fleet of shuttle buses to a local resort and an onboard performance from a local troupe.
Read on for photos of the performance, walk around Nuku’alofa and afternoon tea.
At today’s Noon announcement, the Captain advised of heavy weather around the Cook Islands and to the South of us. It would not be possible to safely conduct tendering operations in the Cook Islands.
Therefore, tomorrow’s call is cancelled and we are now steaming weather avoidance courses direct to Tonga, where we will dock a day early, giving us an overnight.
By steaming weather avoidance courses, the Captain predicts we will experience about 20 kt winds, but the previous courses would have put us in 45 kt winds and 15-18′ seas. They provided written confirmation in our cabin, with the Captain providing 2 chartlets showing isobars, wind arrows and the 2 course option.
Personally, I never expected to reach the Cook islands, as it is often skipped due to weather. Viking have handled this issue extremely well.