When my parents decided to visit, I was happy for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the prospect of exploring New Caledonia from the land side. All too often as we sail around the planet, we stick to strictly water-related activities. Sailing. Snorkelling. Swimming. The three “S”s. So this was a chance to try something new.
And over the past couple of weeks, we have been out almost every day. We explored the reef off Ile aux Canards. Toured the aquarium. Hit the beach.
Hmm. Okay, I guess we haven’t completely broken free from our water-based activity schedule. Even our trip into the mountains to visit Sarramea centered around – you guessed it – swimming in the trou feuillet.
Another family left just as we arrived. Hot dog! We had the place to ourselves. The girls wasted no time in getting into the water. And after enduring the same safety lecture from me and both of their grandparents about not getting washed down into the next pool, we all had some fun.
…about thirty teenagers arrived in a hormonal wave. They were armed with swimsuits, beer, and the bullet-proof shield of teenage immortality.
Our quiet family time was done.
The girls, of course, were fascinated. Stylish has reached that magical almost-in-middle-school age. I can almost feel myself disappearing. She and her sister set to work to do their best Jane Goodall as they observed these interesting newcomers. (Their wildlife blind could use a little work, though.)
It didn’t take long for hijinks to ensue. Like jumping from ever-farther back over the rocks.
And so my parents and I did what every adult over the age of twenty-two does when confronted with such shenanigans. We tutted.
“Did you see that? *tsk*”
“Lucky he didn’t break his neck.”
“Oh, no, they’re jumping in groups, now.”
“Those girls almost landed right on top of each other.”
But, as satisfying as it was to cluck at tomfoolery that we had also engaged in at that age, we soon had our fill. Time to pry the girls off their rock and move upstream to a quieter pool.
And all was well again.
Sarramea accomplished, we drove home happy. And tomorrow? We’ll try another inland trip. To Rivière-Bleue.
What, you didn’t think we would go somewhere we couldn’t swim, did you?
This article was syndicated from Sailing Papillon