When exploring the uncharted waters of the world's largest coral reef lagoon the weather is always a concern; even when anchored in a reasonably well protected location, like the V-shaped "Coude" (Elbow) reef on the southern tip of New Caledonia's Great South Lagoon. None of the New Caledonia reef anchorages are protected from every direction and should the wind shift in the night you could be in serious trouble before dawn. So when I woke up just at sunrise the first thing I did was go on deck to check out what the weather had in store for us. And this is what I saw - we were completely surrounded by rain squalls and towering thunderheads. Fantastic! What a magnificent sky! The dawn colors, a flock of boobies headed back towards the remains of an old wreck on the reef after a night's fishing, and the water just glowed all around us in the dawn light. I don't think I've every enjoyed such menacing looking weather so much. While I was photographing this sphere image the VHF radio weather broadcast came on and told us that it was a lovely day and we could expect light SE winds. Surprisingly, they were right and after these showers passed by the day cleared up beautifully.
新喀里多尼亚是离澳大利亚和新西兰最近的南太平洋岛屿。该岛是法国领地且官方语言是法语，尽管如此，其文化却丰富多彩，揉合了美拉尼西亚、欧洲、波利尼西亚、越南、中国、印尼等国的风情。这里有一个多山的大岛，称为大地岛 (Grande Terre)，和6个较小的岛屿——洛亚蒂三岛 (Loyalty Islands)、贝莱普群岛 (Belep) 和松树岛 (Isle of Pines)。 整个群岛人口极为稀少，有大片的荒野。这里有数百公里长的徒步小径、随处可见的露营营地、超过42个公园和保护区、清澈透明的河流和莹莹闪光的瀑布。约三分之一的人口居住在首府努美阿。镍的开采是该国最主要的工业，也是维持其高标准生活的主要经济来源。大地岛四周环绕着世界第二大珊瑚礁，此珊瑚礁形成的泻湖是世界上最大的，也是受保护的泻湖。该泻湖于2008年被列为世界遗产，面积达24000平方公里，是品种丰富的鱼类和无脊椎动物栖息之地。 对于刚上岛的游客而言，最引人注目的是这里鲜艳夺目的色彩。努美阿以其完备的酒店、度假酒店、餐馆设施和丰富多彩的活动欢迎游客的到来。