The isle of pines lies about 30 nautical miles to the east of ‘la grande terre’. It was discovered by James Cook in 1774 but it’s been inhabited for thousands of years, first by Lapita people and then by Melanesians. The tall pines typical for this island, Araucaria cookii, are named after the British navigator. We anchored in the north (Baie des crabes) in one of the most spectacular lagoons ever: crystal clear turquoise water all around us contrasted with green mangrove bush and pine trees. Absolutely stunning above and below the waterline: the snorkeling here easily made it to our top three best snorkeling spots ever. The colours and variety of corals and fishes were breathtaking.
It goes without saying that seafood and fish are here in abundance. However, interestingly the local delicacy is escargots (snails) which I happen to love 🐌