Sailing Around The World

Archive for May, 2014

Volcano Tanna Island Photo

It took a few days of bad internet to get these up but here you go. I hope you like them.

IMG_1178

IMG_1186

IMG_1194

IMG_1200

IMG_1292

IMG_1302

IMG_1349

IMG_1355

IMG_1391

IMG_1302

IMG_1349

IMG_1427

IMG_1393

IMG_1428

IMG_1440

IMG_1443

IMG_1444

IMG_1445

IMG_1446

IMG_1447

IMG_1448

IMG_1451

IMG_1452

IMG_1453

IMG_1454

IMG_1455

IMG_1456

IMG_1459

IMG_1461

IMG_1462

IMG_1463

IMG_1466

IMG_1467

IMG_1505

IMG_1506

IMG_1507

IMG_1508

IMG_1509

We are now in Port Villa, Vanuatu and getting ready to head north before we sail to Australia. Spent the other night lobster fishing with a local native over a coral reef at night and got coral rash all over my back but I will tell that story tomorrow.

Cheers,

Jacques


Hikng the Rim Of A Exploding Volcano

Cary and I began our 8 km hike to the Tanna Island, Vanuatu volcano locally named Yasur. When my dad dropped us off on shore a French family that had been to the volcano yesterday gave us some hiking directions to get there. So off we went through the local Port Resolution village that was made up of several palm thatched roof and walled huts. As always the people are very kind, always have big smiles and always introduce themselves as we walked by their homes. The road was a two track for trucks to drive on, the hiking was easy but long. It was Sunday and as we walked by the villages, people were at church under a tarp like shelter worshipping and children sang. As we continued you could hear a rumble ever so often telling us that we were getting close to the volcano. Our path continued to have cows blocking it eating grass and slapping the millions of flys that surrounded everything. No matter how fast we hiked the fly’s would not leave us alone. We also ran across paths with some boars and babies that were not too happy to have us bother there day, made lots of noise and charged across our path into the jungle.

We finally made it to the main gate witch is a grass hut archway but had no sign indicating that it was the path to the volcano. Actually they had no signs anywhere to indicate where the volcano was but following the sound and mountain we found it. I offered two pouches of tobacco and the women just looked at me, said we need money and we don’t smoke tobacco. Ok well I tired, Cary and I had to pay the $3350 each and then we hiked up the volcano. As we hiked up through the jungle to the volcano you could hear large explosions every 10 or 20 minutes. We broke through the jungle terrain into a dessert area leading up to the rim of the volcano and hiked up the soft sand. We could see all the fresh magma rock that had blown out of the volcano all over the ground and smoke blowing out of the volcano. The smell of sulfur was very strong and the smoke was yellow in color. Half way up our 20 minute climb the volcano made a loud pumping sound like an old steam engine train chugging out of the train station. The sound then went quiet and the ground started to shake a little bit, then boooooom and the sound of 747 jet airplane taking off. The concussion of the explosion was so violent you could feel it in your chest and our hearts raced. We looked up and could see magma flying 1000s of feet up into the sky. What a rush and we climbed faster to get to the edge of the volcano to see inside it. We made it to the top as a huge cloud of gas blow by us choking on the sulfur smell we hiked further along the volcano ridge to the windward side and watched the volcano blow and rumble.

At the volcano there was no warning signs or information on what you should do or not do. When we got to the volcano path that went up the side of the mountain there was one sign and it said “Think Safety” that’s it. So looking, feeling, and experiencing the raw power of the volcano you had to wonder where it was safe to walk and how close you could get to the fire breathing dragon. We hiked slowly around the entire brim of the volcano experiencing all the different views and explosions. We felt the heat and smell of the volcano smiling the whole time. As we hiked around the brim it would get very steep to the point if you fell into the crater you would roll all the way down into the magma so we stepped very carefully. At one point in a not so good location the crater exploded sending rock 1000’s of feet up and blew my hair straight back. Cary jogged down the back side of crater and I watched from the edge with my hear t pounding out of my chest laughing at the power. Then loud streams of gas blowing out of rock faces around the magma. We spent 5 hours watching and eating our lunch with our legs hanging into the crater enjoying the day. But every time that volcano erupted my heart raced and I wondered if I should take pictures, or run for my life. I always took the pictures and Cary did to well screaming yahooooo!

At one location on the brim there was a long dip that got you very close to the crater edge but you had to climb down 300 feet to get to the inside crater edge so we discussed our path down and went for it. As we climb down I got about of the way down and my foot broke through the honey combed surface up to my mid-calf muscle. I realized the danger I was putting ourselves in hiking down into the crater so I told Cary to stop and go back. I turned around planted another foot and it broke through again. My heart was racing but I I stepped carefully and didn’t break through again. I made it out of the crater struggling up the sand step edge and looked back to see smoke coming out of the foot holes I made. Man, that was a dumb idea, I realized that the crater inside could be honey combed and you could easily break through to hot steam canvases or even lava. Cary and I both laughed and just shock our heads at our stupidity. So we kept hiking around the rim and never thought to get any closer than that.

As night fell upon us the glow of the boiling mage was very bright and beautiful. The sun set and now you could see jets of fire scream out of the rocks and lava slashing up into the air. Then there would be a huge explosion and send lave 1000’s of feet up into the air and it would be like a million flashes of light bright red. Now we set up our observation point on the far side of the volcano so we could look right done into the crater. Being in this location also amplified the sound and concussion of the blast. After ever eruption we would get a shower of fine pepper rock and ash that covered us from head to toe. By the time we packed our gear up we were black with rock, sand, ash, and smelled of sulfur. With the glow and eruptions of the volcano on our left side we hiked in the darkness along the crest to the path leading off the volcano. It was the best short hike off of a mountain I ever experienced in my life. The volcano would erupt and you would jump a few feet down the ridge away from the crater and then get a ash rain that would fog your head lamp shining your path. We made it off the volcano in hour.

We still had to hike 8 km back in the pitch black dark of the jungle. The stars were very bright and you could see the Milky Way but there was no moon. It gets really dark in the jungle that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. As we hiked we would scare animals that would go running off crashing through the trees and brush making your heart thump when they did. The cows we passed during that day were still in the same spot eating still. It rained a few times as we hiked and cooled us down. After 3 hours of hiking we made it to the beach were I flashed my head lamp to signal my dad to come pick us up. After a while my dad made it to us but got soaked landing the dingy in the surf as the waves broke. We made it off the beach through the surf and onto Dragonsbane. Finally took a sea bath hoping there was no sharks and washed up. Had a bit to eat, drink, and went to bed. Told my dad he had to go up to the volcano but to take the truck instead of hike so that’s what he will do today with another cruiser friend of ours who is Dutch man named Matt. Matt also informed us that last week two people died up on the volcano which no one mentioned to us. Good thing I guess because we never would have taken the chances we did.

I cant wait to post the pictures.

Cheers,

Jacques Henry


Anchored in Port Resolution Tanna, Next to a Volcano

Ok first off Port Resolution is not a port! It’s a very rolly polly anchorage with nothing to offer but a good spot to drop your ground tackle aka anchor. Yes like I have been experiencing seen the USA is a rolly anchorage. I personally think the best torture is to place a human in a bed and rock it enough to have the human roll from one side to the other. But to make it interesting you add walls so you can bounce in to it. So that’s what I will be doing tonight in bed, rolling from one side to other wondering why in the world I am in this situation when I could have a great job, girlfriend, and homemade beer. O well I guess maybe because looking out the cockpit I can see the glow of the Volcano that I am anchored off of. Yes that’s right we are only 8km from the most activate volcanoes in the world as the local native say.

Been here for a few hours now and I found out it cost 3350 dollars per person in Vanuatu dollars to enter the volcano area and I only brought 2200 hundred. Guess the local natives wised up and realized that they had a good thing going and started charging big bucks to see hot magma, love that word “magma”. So with a fist full of New Zealand Dollars and USA green backs I am off to talk to the French, German, New Zealand, Norwegian, and OZ’s cruisers too change them for Vanuatu dollars. So I meet Simon and Barbara who like most kiwis are great and changed 100 New Zealand bucks for 8000 Vanuatu dollars. Then I went to the OZ’s and they gave all their money to their son who flow home today, lucky SOB. Then I meet the GERMANS Peter and Hyde who are the coolest Germans I have met so far this trip. They didn’t give me any Vanuatu dollars for change but gave me a boat load of information about the land jumping men here in Vanuatu. So armed with a few Vanuatu bucks I had in my pocket and the money from my Kiwi friends we have enough for two to hike the 8 km in and see the volcano.

Now this is how its going to get interesting, Vanuatu natives love to barter for things and I have 12oz of pipe tobacco that I think I could trade the gate keeper of the volcano to get my dad in. Problem is, is that my dad has to make the 16km round trip and I leave that call up to him. I will let you all know in the next day or so how this works out.

Cheers,

Jacques


Made to Anatom Island Vanuatu

After heaving too for 3 hours off the entrance the harbor bay waiting for the sun to come up we made an easy anchorage. I went back to sleep for an hour or two and my dad went off to clear us in at the little hut/police station in the village. He returned shortly after and said that the officer would be back in the afternoon to clear us in, o good no worries. After my nap we went ashore again and like ever little village in the pacific I saw a horse, goats, chickens, cows, and the nicest people ever. Walked to the general store to find it closed, I guess we don’t get cookies for dinner. After that we waited at the police station talking with other cruisers from Australia, France, and Germany. Good people out here and glad to be accepted in the ranks of common seamanship. Now back to my beer and dinner cooking on the stove.

Cheers,

Jacques Henry


Almost to Vanuatu

Once again enjoying life at 20 degrees and sleeping on a hill held down by a cloth. The wind has been gusting up to 30 knots but remains out of the south east. Like yesterday the swells range from 1 to 3 meters and every now and again you get soaked by ocean salt spray in the cockpit. It seems like I cant escape the salt anymore, it has coated everything including myself. But the sun is out and we only have 54 nautical miles to go on this lumpy ocean.

Current Position: 20deg 49.4min South, 169deg 06.3min East bearing 035deg M, UTC 02:17, Wind Speed 20-30knots, Swells 1-3 meters, Wind direction South East, sunny with little clouds but cool wind.

Thanks,

Jacques Henry


Underway to Aneityun Island, Vanuatu

Left this morning with a better weather forecast for the Vanuatu Islands. It should be a fast sail as we have a beam reach sailing at 6 to 8 knots with 20 knots of wind. The sea is a bit lumpy and a few swells are over 2 meters but mostly staying between 1 to 2 meters. I must say it is so nice to be traveling with the wind then into it. Anyway it should take us two days to sailing the 305 nautical miles to Vanuatu. I sure hope the live volcano it worth the back tracking. I Cary has been carrying around marshmellows, gram crackers, and chocolate for over a month now and we have not eaten any of it yet. We are looking forward to roasting the marshmallows on some magma hehehe. May try and sleep on the volcano too but first we have to get there.

Cheers,

Jacques Henry

Current position: 22deg 18.2min South, 167deg 23.9min East UTC 02:50, Bearing 035deg M, Swell 2 meters, Wind Speed 20 to 25 knots, Cloudy with Patch’s of Sun, Air Temp 78 deg F


Touring Ile des Pins

Today we went ashore and hiked up the Pic Nga mountain which only took a hour and half. We looked out over the green blue ocean lagoons surrounding the island. We took lots of photos of Dragonsbane anchored right off the beautiful white sandy beaches. The sand beaches here are made of powder so fine it squeaks between your feet. The little lagoon we are anchored in has lots of sea turtle that play around the boat. The strong ocean breeze from the south keeps us cool at night. The clouds have finally let the sun through as we descended down the mountain. It took a bit longer to hike down because the lose stones and gravel on the trail made it hard to keep your feet but still fun all the same.

We walked to a hotel, rented a car for half the day and drove around the island taking in the local views and people. The Island is very clean with friendly people waving and smiling at us all day. The hardest thing to find on the island was a place to eat. We found a little “snack” or cafthat served us up long baguette sandwiches and fries. Then we found the grocery store but they only opened at 4pm so we went to the beach. We enjoyed walking up and down the snow white beach, sat down played with the sand and work on our tans. Finally it was 4 so we went to the very small store and bought beef, potatoes, and some more French baguettes for dinner.
The Island of Pins is very sweet and would be a great paradise for a workaholic in need of solitude and empty beaches. Its only you, sea, and sun to enjoy here not much else. A few nice churches and an old prison that has been over taken by age and Mother Nature. Tomorrow we plan on departing to Vanuatu Tanna Island. The passage should take two days to complete and I will up date you tomorrow on our progress.

Thanks,

Jacques Henry


Wind Stuck in Prony New Caledonia

Well we sailed or I should say we motored sailed our way south from Noumea. The plan was to sail to the south Island of Island of Pine but the wind was blow 30 knotes right on our nose making forward progress incredibly slow. We realized that we had no chance to make it to Island of Pine and should anchor in Prony Bay out of the swells and wind. We arrived at night and used our electronic charts and visual navigation to slowly work our way into the protected anchorage. We lucked out with a mooring waiting for us to tie too. The wind sure was hollowing that night on the mooring, our wind generator was making 20 plus amps all night.
We started out early in the morning and head out to sea around 7 am to make sure we had enough time to make the 40 nautical mile trip to Island of Pines. The wind once again was right on our nose but as we motor sailed further out to sea the swells grew to 2 meters with breaking waves. The wind was blowing a steady 32 knotes and to make things worse the current was against us. It took 2 hours to go 1.75 nautical miles and at that point I call the passage off. I figured at this speed of 2 knotes we would be getting to Island of Pine by mid night. That is a very dangerous situation because to get into the anchor you have to go through reefs and coral heads. Many boats have been lost trying to make night landings here and all over the pacific. So I used common sense and turned around. Now with a 30 plus tall wind, 2 meter swells and a postage stamp for a sail I was moving at an easy 8 knots. At one point I surfed down a wave hitting 14.5 knots and asked for the sail to be trim even more. Being over powered like we were I ran the chance of rounding up or pitch poling aka rolling the boat over down a wave. It was a fun filled 3 hours and the adrenaline was beginning to pour out my ears. We finally pulled in and tied up to the same mooring. We have been sitting here for two days now and the wind is still blowing 30 knots. We have been hiking around the area ashore discovering lighthouses and hiking trails having fun. But I am going nuts just sitting in one place but its better then smashing through waves all day to then heave too at sea till dawn in 2 meter swells. I guess its smart to take a step back then walk off the cliff in a hurry.

Thanks,
Jacques


Off to Isle of Pines New Caledoina

Well it’s time to leave the main city Noumea in New Caledonia and head to the island of Pines. It is south of the main island of NC but still a territory of New Calediona. The island is full of caves, birds, coral reef, and many local native that can take you out in outrigger conoe to see the wonders within. should be a good time and then we will travels to the Loyaute Island Mare to do some scuba diving. Then off to Vanuatu Island to see the activity valcanos. I will be out of wifi service but will post via SSB radio to share updates and events.

One last picture before I go. I got a haircut! Not bad for talking to the hair stylist that only spoke Vietnamese or French.
image

Well see you later!

Jacques Henry


Hiking Accross GR1 New Caledonia

Cary and I arrived from Nuome New Caledonia via my dad driving us with a rental car to the GR1 French hiking trail. We tried to take the bus the day before and waited three hours to find out that the bus was not coming today. So instead of waiting around a second day we had my dad drive us to the trail head on the south end of New Caledonia to a town called Prony. Prony is a very small town that once was a large logging operation. The logging supported by the labor of the french convicts.

My dad taking a break from driving enjoying the outdoors.

My dad taking a break from driving enjoying the outdoors.

Ready to head out into the wild New Caledonia back bush.

Ready to head out into the wild New Caledonia back bush.

We entered the old settlements of the french loggin camps and this was the remains of the prison that housed the logging convicts.

We entered the old settlements of the french loggin camps and this was the remains of the prison that housed the logging convicts.

The island is now swallowing up the old past ironically by tree growth.

The island is now swallowing up the old past ironically by tree growth.

After a few hours the trail leading us away from the ocean to the old mining waste lands became iron red and slick.

After a few hours the trail leading us away from the ocean to the old mining waste lands became iron red and slick.

We happened apon these stray dogs that I think were white but now iron red.

We happened apon these stray dogs that I think were white but now iron red.

Among the blood red landscape was a waterfall were we filled up our water bottles and relaxed.

Among the blood red landscape was a waterfall were we filled up our water bottles and relaxed.

After several hours of hiking we reached the top of a peek looking north west out over the old chrome mining valley and hopefully the campsite.

After several hours of hiking we reached the top of a peek looking north west out over the old chrome mining valley and hopefully the campsite.

Along the trail spider webs would be blocking our path. You had to be on your toes to see the webs and we didn't want to fight these spiders.

Along the trail spider webs would be blocking our path. You had to be on your toes to see the webs and we didn’t want to fight these spiders.

Nearing our first night campsite we enter a dead forest and the trees had alot of charm and beauty.

Nearing our first night campsite we enter a dead forest and the trees had alot of charm and beauty.

The hut that was at the campsite had been stripped apart and I think burned as fire wood. We still set the tent up on the deck of the old hut and spent the night.

The hut that was at the campsite had been stripped apart and I think burned as fire wood. We still set the tent up on the deck of the old hut and spent the night.

We filled our water bottles from the near by stream and enjoyed the evening sunset.

We filled our water bottles from the near by stream and enjoyed the evening sunset.

We began our hike early because the sun goes down at 6pm and then up at 6 am. So with nothing to do you sleep or hike. So by 7 am we were off.

We began our hike early because the sun goes down at 6pm and then up at 6 am. So with nothing to do you sleep or hike. So by 7 am we were off.

The trail was once again steep and wet with all the rain coming down as we hiked today.

The trail was once again steep and wet with all the rain coming down as we hiked today.

After 6 hours of hiking we reached the top of the next mountain and looked back at our progress.

After 6 hours of hiking we reached the top of the next mountain and looked back at our progress.

We still had a long way to go to get to our next campsite so we dug deep and kept hiking. The rain continued to keep up wet to the bone.

We still had a long way to go to get to our next campsite so we dug deep and kept hiking. The rain continued to keep up wet to the bone.

Crossed over a swamp in the valley and this little river. We then had to begin our last mountain climb of the day.

Crossed over a swamp in the valley and this little river. We then had to begin our last mountain climb of the day.

As we hiked up the Moutain we entered a botanical forest full of birds talking and singing.

As we hiked up the Moutain we entered a botanical forest full of birds talking and singing.

We climbed for over 2 hours to get to the top of this beast and the pain was beginning to show.

We climbed for over 2 hours to get to the top of this beast and the pain was beginning to show.

Looking out over the valleys and mountains we hiked over.

Looking out over the valleys and mountains we hiked over.

We finally made it in a little less then 12 hours and 30km later. Glad to be out of the rain.

We finally made it in a little less then 12 hours and 30km later. Glad to be out of the rain.

We started out early again with a rough night of sleep and wet cloths we hiked 2 hours to enter the "Parc Provinicial de la Riviere Bleue" aka the reserve park. It is still raining hard.

We started out early again with a rough night of sleep and wet cloths we hiked 2 hours to enter the “Parc Provinicial de la Riviere Bleue” aka the reserve park. It is still raining hard.

From all the rain the trail was very slick and tough to climb or descend. The views we great between the rain clouds and mist.

From all the rain the trail was very slick and tough to climb or descend. The views we great between the rain clouds and mist.

At this point on the map Cary and I decided to call it quits and turn around. We still had 60km to go and that would take us at least two more days. Cary's feet were so blistered up he found it hard to wake. I rolled my ankle and had a bit of a limp. We hiked back to the main entrance and stayed the night in the hut. Still completed 15km for the day.

At this point on the map Cary and I decided to call it quits and turn around. We still had 60km to go and that would tak us at least two more days. Cary’s feet were so blistered up he found it hard to wake. I rolled my ankle and had a bit of a limp. We hiked back to the main entrance and stayed the night in the hut. Still completed 15km for the day.

Woke up to the sound of these birds and rain. We didn't sleep very well again because the the rain made the temperature very cold and we just slept for minutes at a time. So glad happy to be heading back to civilization.

Woke up to the sound of these birds and rain. We didn’t sleep very well again because the the rain made the temperature very cold and we just slept for minutes at a time. So glad happy to be heading back to civilization.

We hiked 3km to the road and then began our 50km hike back to the Noumea city. After 2 hours of thumbing for a ride a nice man on a bus stopped and picked us up. It was a bus for the mine workers that was heading back to Nomea city. They drove us all the way to the port and we got off. I was happy and very tried, but it felt good to at least complete half the trip and put 60 pr 70 K’s under our belt.

Thanks,

Jacques


Off Hiking the GR-1 Trail In New Caledonia

image

Well the wind forecast for sailing is very weak. So instead of sitting around the boat fixing things as always Cary and I will go off on a 80km hike for 3 or 5 days. We will get to see the New Caledonia outback and hopefully get to see some cool things. That said I will not post on the blog for a few days.

We are also getting one of our winches re-machined so it will work better. I guess all the sailing and heavy weather bent the winch plate if you can believe that but we did. My dad and a nice French man is working it out.
image
The old maintanece company that maintain the boat had used 5200 glue on all the bolts so it took us two days to remove the winch. All I can say is that is stupid, stupid, stupid!

Thanks,

Jacques Henry


2 Week Throw Back Update

During our passage to New Caledonia Cary landed his first Mahi Mahi. It weighted in at 18.5 pounds and 4 foot long. Check I tout below,
NZ_New Caledonia-2

We ate fish for dinner, breakfast, lunch, and then repeated the same for four days but cooked different each time.

Apron our arrival at the outside reef that sits 6 nautical miles off the New Caledonia main land we approached the Petite Passé to the Port Noumea, Baie de la Moselle. As we approach so did the French Navy in a helicopter with a diver hanging for it.
NZ_New Caledonia-6

At first I was a bit worried that we may have done something wrong but it was just the French being French, I love this place. So we made a great entrance off the Pacific to the marine and sat down to t #one beer! Oui, Oui!

Looking back at the night we left.
NZ_stars2

Thank you,

Jacques Henry


Diving On New Caledonia Ship Wrecks

DCIM100GOPRO
Desending down to 84 feet to go through a old French navy ship 150 feet long. I saw no guns but did see the 50 cal. Shields. It was very cool to see the ship come into view as we desended down onto its deck.

DCIM100GOPRO
This ship was sunk by the navy to make more habitats for reef fish. But all the same it was fun to dive on. On our way to the ship there was old canon shells on the bottom of the reef that had not exploded but were not dangerous to be near.

Ok lets go inside!

We entered the port side of the main deck where we went down inside to the dinning hall. DJ my dive master had me sit down for a picture. We then went toward the after of ship through a long hallway.

I looked right and left into the kitchen, watch stations, and berths and out onto the stern sub level deck.

Exiting from the ship looking up into the sun and DJ taking pictures.

Exiting from the ship looking up into the sun and DJ taking pictures.

DCIM100GOPRO
You can see what DJ was trying to capture some really big subjects.

Ok so now on another dive that same day we dove on on this 200 foot processing fish boat that was sunk by the French Navy, I guess the French Navy get bored and blows stuff up!

Ok so now on another dive that same day we dove on on this 200 foot processing fish boat that was sunk by the French Navy, I guess the French Navy get bored and blows stuff up!

Looking over the deck at 50 feet. This was a bit more shallow of a dive and very comfortable.

Looking over the deck at 50 feet. This was a bit more shallow of a dive and very comfortable.

O WAIT LOOK WHO IT IS?
DCIM100GOPRO
A whole bunch of french divers, o wait CARY?
DCIM100GOPRO
Yup looks like Cary.
DCIM100GOPRO
Cary’s first picture diving. Good job buddy on your dive cert.


Me Clowning around in the pilot house of the Navy Ship. Always the captain above or below, lol!

DCIM100GOPRO
Waiting for the dive boat to come pick me up out in the middle of the ocean.

Thanks,

Jacques Henry


Sharks at 163 Feet, TO DEEP BROTHER


As I mentioned in my last blog I went on a deep dive to find the Gray and White tip sharks. The dive was short but to a new depth for me, 150 feet. I found out from this dive a lot about my limits and how to handle the effects of nitrogen narcosis and to make the dive more complex secondary regulator air leak. As you will watch in the film above you can see the white chum/food floating all around me and the other divers. Then from the dark blue sharks emerge all around us and circle chumping at the food. Some coming right at you like a rocket and then wave off. I was at 163 feet when the sharks appeared and I tried my best to keep them in the shot. After about 2 minutes my secondary regulator began exhausting mass amounts of air and when I looked at my air gauge it was bouncing. Towards the end of the clip you can hear screaming which I found out later was my dive master freaking out over the sharks and taking pictures. You can hear my breathing over his screams. So lets just say all hell was breaking lose for me. So I stopped, closed my eye and the world was spinning behind my eye lids, ok don’t close your eyes. I then focused on my dive watch “depth 154, 156, 157, 160, 163 feet” shit I am going down not up. At that depth I could feel the effects of nitrogen narcosis and new I had to go up slowly to stop the crushing feeling of the weight of water around me. My chest felt like it had a car on it. I knew I had lots of air and I just had to go up slowly and breath. I got a few odd looks from others as I began to rise up to 100 feet but it felt like a release of adrenaline into my blood stream. Everything stopped except my exhausting regulator which was just dumping my remaining air. O well looking at about 1000 psi left after 10 minutes of diving, wow new record on emptying my tank. Up I go and do my decompression stop and surface with a new respect for everything. But after this event I had a great time and big thanks to the dive team and Master!

Thank You,

Jacques


Scuba New Caledonia, Sharks & Ship Wrecks

Today Cary and I went scuba diving in New Caledonia. Cary began his scuba open water certification and I am getting my advanced open water certification. Cary learned the basic as I plunged to the deepest depth I have every been 163 feet deep. I am not a big fan of diving so deep and you can defintly notice the pressure down there. We descended very quickly to do a short dive were the gray sharks would see us and encircle us. The dive masters had a few bits of chum and broke that up so we were in the middle of it all. Very quickly the gray sharks came out of the dark blue and circled close to us eating chum. They would get very close and when I have good wifi I will post the video.

After my adventure way down deep I dived on an old French war ship that was sunk in the Lagoon at about 70 feet. I enjoyed swimming my way through the wreck and taking lots of photos. I even sat in the mess hall and relaxed in the ship as I waited to pass down the dark blue hall way out of the ship. The top of the ship had two old gun shields and a mores code light. It was a wonderful dive with many exciting areas to investigate.
After a full day of meeting some very cool French people and hearing about their local life we made our way back to Dragonsbane. The day was one to remember as always. Tomorrow once again will be a day filled with diving, and trying to learn the French language.

Cheers,

Jacques