Ilot Mbe Kouen is a little island just inside the New Caledonia Great Barrier Reef. In fact, if you look SW you can see the long, narrow Barrier Reef in the sphere image.
You would never think it, but on the weekends and holidays this miniscule sand bank with it's one solitary palm tree and some beach vegetation is a very popular destination for Noumea residents.
I took this image on Friday, before the flock of Easter holiday makers arrived, flying my trusty kite from the deserted beach (well, deserted except for the sea birds, Freddy and I).
My GoPro Hero3 Black was suspended by a pendulum mount from the kite and spun around using a small wireless controlled servo that rotates 360 degrees in about 2.5 seconds. I waited until the kite seemed momentarily stable, started the spin then did a burst of 30 images in 3 seconds using the GoPro wireless controller. Then I used the servo wireless controller to tilt the camera down to get the bottom view.
That's the Moira, our research vessel, anchored all by itself in the anchorage. By nightfall we had over 20 other yachts clustered around us and there were people camping on the island itself, some arriving from Noumea in a water taxi.
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.