We are to disembark the ship via a tendering process today at Lifou. Lifou is part of the Loyalty Island group, and another over sea’s territory of France. It is known for the limestone caves and coral reefs. It is a tiny coral island with a population of approximately 10,200 people.
The seas have become relatively calm, and for the first time during this journey I am completely comfortable with the level of movement we are experiencing. The kids are begging to be allowed to go to turtle cove, but we have other plans for the day. We are taking a tender (lifeboat) to the island of Lifou. We are told there is a swimming spot with coral straight off the beach, and I know the water will be beautiful and warm.
Everyone on board the Pacific Dawn seems to be in a huge hurry to get off the boat. I am in no such rush. I continue my daily ritual of a quite coffee in the Lido Cafe before heading to the sunrise stretch class. I note that there is also a half hour of “Fab Abs” after stretching so I mentally commit to an hour of exercise before collecting the family for breakfast.
Above is the view from the “Oasis Bar” to the island of Lifou.
We eventually decide to board the tender vessel. I am astounded at the gorgeous colour of the water. It is so inviting, and I am anxious to swim. The day is a perfect 27 degrees, a light breeze means we are completely comfortable walking to Jenkin Beach, a popular spot for snorkeling. As we round the corner and catch a glimpse of the protected bay dotted with snorkelers I am instantly pleased with our choice of activities for today.
Little Locky gears up and is in the water in seconds. Another second later he is chasing after some poor unsuspecting fish. Miss A takes a little more coaxing as she needs to jump off a rocky out crop to the water about 1 metre below. It is only a matte of moments before she too is enjoying the warm waters of the Pacific. By the time I jump in Locky is about 100metres away and not even coming up for a breath. We spent some time snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef two years ago when he was just four, and he obviously hasn’t forgotten a trick.
The abundance of fish and coral was surprising given we were so close to shore and not on a tour. The coral was quite diverse and there were purples and blues to be seen. Lachlan was more interested in noting the various species of fish. When he finally came to shore he had seen, a nemo fish, garfish, trumpet fish, parrot fish, stripey fish a dory and so many sea cucumbers. He told me he wanted to go to Turtle Cove to draw them for show and tell at school.
After our snorkeling, Anais and I decided to take a walk to the island church. The church was visible from the ship so I was a little curious. Missionaries discovered the island in 1843 so naturally a church was established soon after. The island is now “devout christian.”
We go back for a final swim and then rejoin the boat. The children are still adamant that Turtle Cove is the place to be, so after a shower they are returned to the lovely ladies who have become their foster parents. I wonder if we can take one or two home with us?
My sweetheart and I spend a few hours reading, enjoying some champagne and watching the sunset on the departing islands.