Ok I am going to talk a bit more about our cruise, kinda, I am going over the next few days tell you a bit about each of our port of calls starting with the Isle of Pines as that was our first port of call.
The Isle of Pines was discovered by Captain James Cook in 1774 on his second voyage to New Zealand. He gave the island its name after seeing the tall native pines which the island is famous for, however, he never set foot on the island but noted that it was inhabited because he saw smoke.
In the 1840's the island saw the arrival of missionaries first Protestant then Catholic along with traders looking for the precious sandalwood.
In 1872 the island became a penal colony for 3,000 French convicts, today the population is around 2,000 and its inhabitants remain extremely protected by the tribal system of old.
The language is French and Kanak dialects but many who deal with tourists also speak English, the local government is over seen by the French. The currency is the French Pacific Franc and many places also accept Australian money.
Also ancient burial sites and small archaeological relics dating back over 7,000 years can be found on the island.
The climate is usually warm and dry most of the year with afternoon trade winds helping to keep the humidity low.