The guide book says, it is a nice deserted island, a good night anchorage and some good snorkeling at reefs in the vicinity. That's quite an understatement. This beautiful little island which is completely surrounded by a reef has more peaceful life than I have seen in long. It seems to be a different, timeless and peaceful world there. Imagine you could go to a place where you can feel a wonderful harmony of all living creatures and nature. Where you think that everyone smiles at you, even this incredibly turquoise water. That's Kouaré. Deserted? No! It's inhabitants: flying Audis and seagulls, crawling snakes, digging crabs, swimming fish (including our pet for one day, "Walter der Schiffshalter" - our personal remora), turtle and, to top it all, dolphins who let me swim near to about 15 meters. It's hard to describe a place like this and the heavenly feelings that come with it.
Two days there seemed like an eternity. We were also very lucky with the weather. Calm weather, calm seas, prefect temperature, fresh waters, no rain - all perfect for me.
We left Ilot Brosse with a pet, which came there by turtle. The remora (Schiffshalter) looks for a swimming object bigger than itself, hangs on to it and travels with the object hoping that whatever the object has for food he can have the waste. A nice big object with waste of course is a ship - and it takes them from place to place in high speed. Perfect. We had seen „Walter" hang on to the turtle, but he couldn't have had fun because the turtle does not hunt itself. They mostly eat vegetarian, jellyfish or any other slowly swimming „objects", dead or alive. So Walter moved to us and travelled with us to Kouarè. We had a nice time together, I could call him, I fed him and took great pictures. Next morning when we drove out to the reef to go snorkeling Walter decided to stay at the island. I can't blame him. We found the bluest lagoon ever out by the barrier reef, I couldn't stop looking.
The barrier reef of New Caledonia is the second largest double barrier reef in the world - with around 1000km length. So whole New Caledonia is an amazing huge lagoon with spectacular clear, blue waters. Unfortunately I have seen a lot of dead coral, why I don't know. What I like is that there is no mass tourism here, they want to conserve the beauty of the nature, which has been pronounced part of Unesco World Heritage since 2008. Especially the Kanaks prevent the mass tourism, god bless them.
Yesterday morning when we were just finished with breakfast Marcus yelled „dolphins". They passed by Alita at 8.30 just like saying „hello, we're here!". I quickly prepared to jump in when they swam away a bit. We grabed the cameras, jumped into the Dinghy and drove to where they were going. When we were about 50m away I jumped in. My heart was pounding so loud I thought they must hear it. I did not care how deep it was, if there were any other fish like sharks (which is very unlikely where dolphins are), how cold the water was. I was focussed on the dolphins. Although the water was very clear and I could see the ground 30m deep I was never able to see them under water, which would have been my dream. But I could see them very well over water when I got close (maybe 15-20m was the closest). They did not let me get nearer and would swim away or dive down, but that already was a wonderful experience. Just the dolphins and I swimming in that lagoon, in quiet waters. Thanks to me bringing my big camera with me in the Dinghy Marcus was able to take pictures of the scene. I am so happy!
A few more swimming and snorkeling experiences rounded that day off we were sitting outside enjoying the last sunset over Kouarè.
May I introduce Walter, der Schiffshalter:
Alita at the northern anchorage and the western anchorage
Watersnails are very common here in New Caldonia. Found one on my personal favourite beach today.
I am very positively surprised about New Caldeonia. This place here for sure is the most beautiful beach I have seen in a long time. I just LOVE it here! Sorry for posting too many blue water pix, but I am just in love with this scene...