This sphere image is a memory bubble enriched with an ocean of appreciation.
The warm, clear, calm lagoon water surrounding me. The spectacular crystal memories of the corals wrapped in their tropical colors. The delight of a sea turtle, safe in this Marine Reserve, surfacing to take a deep breath right in front Amedee Island. Puffy white clouds. An artistic engineer's sculpture in steel and cement like a giant white exclamation point casting a light 20 nautical miles with a message, "This is the right way to go."
Frederique and I dedicate our happy memory bubble, with all it's appreciation, to the Helmy family.
Thank you for all you have done to bring happiness to the many thousands of men, women and children who have enjoyed your sincere hospitality since your MaryD ships began bringing visitors to this aquatic microcosm in 1980.
It is our good fortune that, from the moment Patrick Helmy first saw this wonderful little island on the edge of the vast New Caledonian Barrier Reef, he knew, "This is the right way to go."
New Caledonia is the closest South Pacific Island to Australia and New Zealand. It is a French Territory and although the official language is French the culture is a blend of Melanesian, European, Polynesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian, and more. There is one large mountainous island called Grande Terre and 6 smaller islands - the three Loyalty Islands, Belep and the Isle of Pines.The islands are remarkably unpopulated and there are vast areas of wilderness. There are hundreds of kilometers of walking treks, camp grounds, more than 42 parks and reserves, and crystal clear rivers with sparkling waterfalls. Almost one third of the population is located in the capital city of Noumea. Nickel mining is the primary industry and is the major contributor to the high standard of living in the country. Grande Terre is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world and the protected lagoon created by this barrier reef is the largest in the world. Listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008, the lagoon is 24,000 square kilometers and supports a diverse and luxuriant fauna of fish and invertebrates.The vibrant, clear and rich colors are one of the first things that visitors notice when they arrive. Noumea has a complete range of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and activities to welcome visitors.