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WorldSouth PacificNew CaledoniaCanala

Canala, New Caledonia

Baie de Canala
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Canala is a small (pop. ~ 3,800) town on the east coast of Grand Terre, New Caledonia. It lies some distance up stream from the nearest anchorage, but is reachable by a short dinghy ride. Baie de Canala is a huge deep bay that offers sheltered anchorage in all conditions. The bay is clear of dangers, with the exception of Les Trois Freres, three conspicuous rocks on the southern side of the entrance to Port Mackau. Canal offers several shops and other facilities.

Cruising the region

Heading north from Baie de Canala, it is a short sail (~10 nm) around Cap Begat and into the Kouaoua anchorage. Heading south from Baie de Canala, there are two options. Once around Cap Dumoulin, you can continue directly down the main shipping channel until you reach the next anchorage at Anse Lavaissiere. As an alternative, you can enter the narrow pass at Pointe Bogota and sail down the sheltered waterways behind Recifs de Bogota. This route offers the possibility of stopping in a numbers of small bays along the way. Anse de Lavaissiere is about 15 nm from Canala.


Submit the chart details that are required for safe navigation.

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Local weather conditions?

Sources for Weather forecasts:
Local forecasts are, of course, in French, but non-French speakers should find them relatively easy to understand. A very useful vocabulary can be found at How to Understand French Weather Forecasts for Sailors.

The main source of weather information for the area around New Caledonia is Meteo France Nouvelle-Calédonie. The marine section provides a 6 day forecast for the whole region, with details for each of the passes through the barrier reef.

Nouméa radio broadcasts the weather report in French on VHF 16, everyday at 6:30, 9:30, 15:15, 18:30.

There is a set of repeater channels allowing receipt of weather info anywhere in the country:

  • Nouméa area: VHF 26
  • Southern portion of the Grande Terre: VHF 28
  • Isle of Pines and the Southern Lagoon: VHF 25
  • Grande Terre North West coast: VHF 25
  • Northern portion of Grande Terre: VHF 24
  • Ouvea: VHF 23
  • Lifou: VHF 26
  • Maré: VHF 87


Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


List Islands


Also see World Cruiser's Nets


Passe de Canala provides a marked entrance from the sea through the main barrier reef. The Passe is 5nm from Cap Begat and marked with two cardinal markers. The deep section of the channel is only about 75 metres wide, though the nearby reef is about 10 metres deep.

Les Trois Freres in Baie de Canala

Approaching from the north, Cape Begat is clear of dangers, except for a marked reef 1.75 nm to the NE. There is a white quick flashing light at the end of Cap Begat. Approaching from the south, Cap Dumoulin is clear apart from its fringing reef and a marked shoal about 1 nm to the NNW. The main Baie de Canala is deep and clear of dangers with the exception of three conspicuous rocks off the southern point of Port Mackau. Each of the three inlets at the head of the bay shoal towards their head.

Lead lights provide a clear track to the head of the bay. The front lead is white Fl 4 sec., the rear lead is also white Fl 4 sec.


You must clear customs in Noumea before progressing elsewhere in New Caledonia.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

  • None


There are three bays at the head of Baie de Canala and anchorage can be sought to suit the conditions.

  • Port Mackau offers excellent anchorage in the middle of the bay. Watch your depth sounder as the bay shelves to the east and south.
  • Port D'Urville allows anchorage near the front lead, from where you can travel by dinghy to Canala.
  • Baie Ouango should provide excellent shelter in westerly conditions. Note that this bay shoals rapidly towards the head of the bay and there is a nickel ore loading complex in this bay.

To access the town of Canala, take your dinghy up the river at the head of the bay, near the front lead light, preferably on a rising tide. You will come to a launching ramp and landing. When the tide is high it is possible to follow a canal from here to the centre of town and you can tie up to the stone steps.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

Submit addresses and contact details of marine related businesses that are of interest to cruisers.

  • None


  • None

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Possibly from the town - you would have to haul by dinghy.

Things to do Ashore


List places of interest, tours, etc.

Grocery & Supply Stores

  • There are shops in the town of Canala.
  • Friday is market day.


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  • None

Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal

There is a rubbish tip on the side of the canal on the way to Canala.


Transportation (local and/or international)

  • There is an airport at Canala.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


Links to relevant websites.


Publications, Guides, etc.


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