Isle of Pines
It sucks waking up early, especially waking up early on holiday! But we had to if we wanted to make the most of our time on the island. We had buffet breakfast before grabbing our tender stickers. The sun was out but it was still a bit chilli in the air and the seas were apparently a little rough. Because of this they were having trouble with the tender boats and it took a while to get the tendering process started.
We had tender sticker no. 9, which meant we had a while to wait, however I did look around and see tender stickers up to 20! It took them about an hour to get to us. We didn’t get onto the island until about 11:30. We were lucky though. Later on I found out that stickers went as high as 36! They weren’t getting off the boat until 2pm when we were getting back on and only had 2 hours left ashore! That’s rough, but that’s what happens when it’s first in first served.
The island was beautiful! The water was so many different shades of turquoise and crystal clear! The sand on the beaches was white as snow and extremely soft and fine. The wind was still blowing, it was slightly warmer however. David and I jumped off the boat and headed straight to the beach. We found a perfect spot where we could place our things, grabbed our snorkels and got into the water.
This was the first time I had ever snorkelled. Where we were wasn’t very exciting. Just a bit of seaweed to look at, however it was a great place to practice and hone my skills. From here we moved down the beach toward the sacred rock. Or a least what I though was the sacred rock as I overheard people saying there was some pretty coral and tropical fishes swimming around.
There were indeed some pretty fishes, and coral formations. I did a bit of swimming around with David, trying not to bump into the 50 other snorkelers in the area, I almost got kicked in the face, almost. It was here on the first day of action that our action camera broke! It got a bit of sand in the seal and because of this water got in. So there is actually no video of any fishes or coral from the whole trip L It also meant that it was broken for paddle boarding in Noumea, which makes me really sad because I really wanted to film some of that!
We headed up the beach towards the hotel. On the way David mentioned that my face was getting red, I thought it might be sunburn though it was feeling quite itchy. As we progressed down the beach david pointed out that I was getting hives on the side of my face. I asked him to take a picture and sure enough they were covering my left cheek! Luckyily I had brought some bottled water for the day so I splashed my face with that. After a short time the swelling and the redness subsided. I have no idea what caused it. It wasn’t the snorkel as that was on the right side of my face, I haven’t had a reaction quite like that to sea water before although I do have sensitive skin. I think it must have been some seaweed I brushed up against? I don’t think any fish got that close to my face.
We did some sunbathing on the beach while reading our e-books before we got hungry around 2pm. The restaurant there was a bit pricey, about $20 for a cheese burger and fries. We thought it would be best to go back to the ship as I couldn’t get into the water again not wanting to risk another reaction.
We had a light lunch in the buffet and then headed out to serenity deck where I foolishly decided to jump in the pool. It was still freezing! Everyone was hoping into the spa to try and warm up from the cold water of the beach I suppose. I was only in there for a short amount of time before I left the pool and headed back to the room for a hot shower.
To my disappointment there was no show on that evening, nor any comedy, only movies and trivia and that’s about it really. After dinner David and I were a bit lost so we decided to check out the piano bar. A lovely lady was singing in there, she is quite young and hales from Sydney herself. We listened to some songs and waited for the raffle to be drawn, which David one. Probably the only raffle we will win on this trip, still it was very fun. He got a pink clapper thingy. They sell them at Luna Park but in red yellow and blue. I must say I prefer the pink colour. After a few more songs we headed down to the ‘cool club’ which was playing some awesome tunes. I did a bit of crazy dancing before getting exhausted and heading up to bed. Another early night as our tour for Lifou was early morning.