March 7th…Our 22nd wedding anniversary…History of New Caledonia…Two fun photos from one year ago…

Do you see the rainbow in the background in this shot of New Caledonia?
Today is a sea day.  The Wi-Fi signal is marginal due to the number of passengers on their phones, tablets, and laptops. I attempted to speak to my sister on Skype, but I could not hear anything on this end, although she could hear me. 

Having ended the antibiotics last night while increasing the dose of the PPI, which I’ll continue to take for two months, I’ve definitely had a good result. 
I’d been suffering from Helicobactor Pylori for the past 15 months. Still a little sluggish from the meds, I’m not missing a beat of the varied activities we enjoy aboard ship, often hanging out with our new friends.

We inquired as to the cost of renting one of these little vehicles in Noumea, New Caledonia, the capital city.  At AU 132, the US $100 per hour, we decided to walk, which certainly was more beneficial.

Speaking of not “missing a beat,” last night, we danced the night away. Tom was doing his usual “dancing to the music” for a solid two hours standing by me while occasionally I had to sit down to recover. 

The boat harbor in Noumea.

After lounging for many months to get well, my energy level wasn’t my usual 100%. On the other hand, Tom never ceases to amaze me with his relentless enthusiasm and high energy when it comes to any activity.  For a guy that likes to lounge, he sure can kick it up a beat when needed.

Tomorrow, we’ll share a video on the post, including photos and stories of an exceptional night we’ll always remember, spent with many of the new friends we’ve made during this cruise.

Freighter in the port in New Caledonia.

Today is our 22nd wedding anniversary. In actuality, we’ve been together almost 26 years. What a fabulous way to celebrate…on a ship with my renewed health as I continue to build back my strength more each day.   Happy anniversary to my lively, energetic hubby, who never fails to make me laugh, smile, and feel in awe of our great relationship.

Local catamaran.

With a one-hour time change last night (loss), little sleep from staying out late, we’re glad to have a sea day. We missed breakfast in the dining room but will soon head in for a light lunch. Now that I can eat a little more, having two meals a day is appealing, especially while on the ship with someone else preparing it.

Last night, the pastry chef made me a almond sponge cake made with eggs, almond flour, vanilla, cream, and chopped nuts. It was absolutely unbelievable.  It was the first time in over five years I had a “cake feel” in my mouth with ingredients acceptable to my way of eating. I wonder if I can get the recipe from him.

Our ship, Celebrity Solstice, after we returned from walking through the small town.

Tonight, I’ll bring the camera to dinner to take photos of our meals and my dessert. Alfredo, a restaurant manager, has gone over the top to ensure I’m happy with my meals, typically salmon or chicken, prawns, spinach, and mashed cauliflower. 

Views out to sea from Noumea.

I’ve avoided beef and salads while recovering to keep the volume of food and digestibility under control. Perhaps soon I’ll be able to add a small green salad with a steak.

Below, we’ve included some information about New Calendonia and photos we’d taken both on and off the ship for our history buffs in cyberspace. As always, thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you again tomorrow with our fun video and photo of us on anniversary night.

New Caledonia consists of several islands in the archipelago.

Happy day to all!
New Caledonia (French: Nouvelle-Calédonie) is a special collectivity of France located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, 1,210 km (750 mi) east of Australia and 16,136 km (10,026 mi) east of Metropolitan France. The archipelago, part of the Melanesia subregion, includes the main island of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Chesterfield Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines, and a few remote islets. The Chesterfield Islands are in the Coral Sea. Locals refer to Grande Terre as Le Caillou (“the pebble”).

New Caledonia has a land area of 18,576 km (7,172 sq mi). Its population of 268,767 (Aug. 2014 census) consists of a mix of Kanak people (the original inhabitants of New Caledonia), people of European descent (Caldoches and Metropolitan French), Polynesian people (mostly Wallisians), and Southeast Asian people, as well as a few people of Pied-Noir and Maghreban descent. The capital of the territory is Nouméa.


The earliest traces of human presence in New Caledonia date back to the Lapita period. The Lapita were highly skilled navigators and agriculturists with influence over a large area of the Pacific.

Two Kanak warriors posing with penis gourds and spears around 1880. Duh, not our photo.

British explorer Captain James Cook was the first European to sight New Caledonia, on 4 September 1774, during his second voyage. He named it “New Caledonia,” as the northeast of the island reminded him of Scotland. The west coast of Grande Terre was approached by Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de Lapérouse, in 1788, shortly before his disappearance, and the Loyalty Islands were first visited in 1796. However, from then until 1840, only a few sporadic contacts with the archipelago were recorded.[ Contacts became more frequent after 1840 because of the interest in sandalwood from New Caledonia.
As trade in sandalwood declined, it was replaced by a new form of trade, “blackbirding,” a euphemism for enslaving people from New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, New Hebrides, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands to work in sugarcane plantations in Fiji and Queensland. The trade ceased at the start of the 20th century. The victims of this trade were called “Kanakas,” like all the Oceanian people, after the Hawaiian word for “man.”

The first missionaries from the London Missionary Society and the Marist Brothers arrived in the 1840s. In 1849, the crew of the American ship Cutter was killed and eaten by the Pouma clan. After that, cannibalism was widespread throughout New Caledonia.”

For more historical information, please click here.

Photo from one year ago today, March 7, 2016:

Tom was holding a gold Oscar statue look-alike at Everybody’s Theatre in Opunake, New Zealand. Click here for the story and more photos of this quaint movie theatre.
Sitting in the “photo booth” on our first visit.  Shortly after our first visit, we returned for a second visit on a special movie night with photos we’ll share shortly as the one-year-ago post approaches.