Gadji, Isle De Pins New Caledonia
6th August 2017
Over the 4 years we have been sailing aboard Easy Tiger, we are often about the best place we have been.
Of course there are many variables that dictate how we rate the many places we have been. For instance, if the weather didn’t suit, or the anchorage was crowded, or we were unable to stay long enough to get the feel of a place are factors that may influence our “rating” opposed to others who may have been there at the perfect time.
There are a few spots though that are really nice in spite of the weather conditions and where it doesn’t matter how many other boats are there. Gadji, at the northeast end of Ilse of Pines in New Caledonia, would be one of these.
The two anchorages of Gadji are simply gorgeous. One is the outer, where you don’t have to go across the reef, the other is the inner anchorage where you enter at high tide into a huge pool of crystal water that ranges from only a metre to around 3 metres deep. This clarity of the water with it’s bright blue tinge gives you the impression that you are anchoring in a swimming pool.
The inner anchorage is surrounded by islands. These islands create a pond like area with a diameter of maybe three or four hundred metres. Most of these islands range in size from a suburban front yard to a few hectares on the largest. Many are just large volcanic rocks with that have been undercut over years by the seawater eating away underneath, creating a “mushroom” shape.
Curiously, most of these islands, big and small, have dense bush growing out the top. How such a variety of shrubs, bushes and even tall straight pine trees exist on these lumps of rock is amazing.
In the water, there are many “clumps” of coral. In the “swimming pool” inside anchorage there are spots of branch like coral that ranges in colour from bright blue to deep purple. Then in the passes between the islands there is fawn coloured brain coral, and lime green fuzzy coral. On the ocean side of the passes between the islands there is plate coral. This seems to grow laterally and as flat as a plate giving great opportunities to the fish to find protection underneath.
The fish life around these corals is spectacular. From small bright green or electric blue damsel fish, various clown fish (nemos) to yellow and black striped angel fish. Added to this are bright green or maroon coloured parrot fish, plus turtles and sting rays all together are an absolute delight to watch while floating among them.
Perhaps one of the best bits about Gadji is that you can really only get here by boat. There is no accommodation here, no resort, no swim up bar. The entry and exit points are pretty shallow, so there are no big boats carrying hundreds of people, its just us cruising sailors and couple of local dive boats that get to enjoy it in all it’s glory.
Several of the larger islands have small beaches. So the norm for us is to have a bonfire on one of these beaches every other night, where all the sailors get together to swap stories. Inevitably the conversation seems to come around to how gorgeous Gadji is.
|One of the "undercut" islands at Gadji|
|Windsurfing in the "swimming pool"|
|Parked in the swimming pool|
|Dinghy waiting for action.|