This blog on New Caledonia is for those of you who ever wondered what life on a tiny island in the South Pacific might be like. Tired of bracing winter winds, the stress of an inner city or simply dreaming of a life change? This is a blog about what happens when, in the words of Yogi Berra, "you come to a fork in the road, [and] take it".

18 September 2006

Whalewatching in New Caledonia

In early September we went on a real South Pacific adventure - whalewatching in the Baie de Prony. The whalewatching season here spans two months, from mid-July to mid-September when the whales come down to warmer waters to mate, give birth and/or feed their young. It takes them three months to get here, in which time they lose 10 tonnes. But it seems well worth the trip as they return every year and are protected in the Baie de Prony's nature reserve. We were lucky enough to see several of them - the humpbacks - as they played and a mother sought a secluded place to nurse her newborn. Our catamaran tossed and turned with the waves, and we eventually left them in peace (thank goodness - as I was as sick as sick can be!). But as we left to tour the bay, our skipper told us that three males had recently come closer into the bay. What with the building of a nickel mine and the hammering under the sea on the bay, the whales have been responding to what sounds like their calls and are venturing closer and closer. One wonders what the final effect the mine will have on the whales and their adoptive habitat.

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