07 August 2010
We said our farewell to Rarotonga on Sunday, July 25th. David, our Raro friend, told us not to let the 'Church Ladies' see us leave-- it is Tapu (forbidden) to travel on Sunday. We did make it out safely and set sail for Beveidge Reef. Bev Reef is a unique experience as you are able to anchor in the middle of the ocean. However, it is only a fair-weather anchorage as the reef is at ocean level and provides minimum protection. As we approached Beveridge the winds were predicted to reach 30 knots-- so we decided not to stop. We were a little disappointed--but safety overrules, and we know that we cannot visit every place we want to visit. After four days and nights at sea we arrived at Alofi, Niue. Niue is a surprizing island away out in the South Pacific ocean. It was surprizing in many ways-- the first being it's geology. As we approached in the early dawn we saw a flat pancake of an island with wild surf pounding the eastern side and spumes of water from many 'blow holes'. We called the Niue Yacht Club for a mooring and were told to pick up any available on the South side of the wharf ( the water is too deep to anchor safely). We picked up mooring #6 which was closest to shore and a great choice. We were surprized at the color of the water! It was an electric blue with incredible clarity. This is reported to be due to the filtering of the rain water by the limestone island. We saw many of our cruising friends already there, we knew just about every boat moored there. We took our dinghy to shore and were introduced to the dinghy crane and cart-- another surprize! There is no safe place to tie-up your dinghy, so you come along side the wharf and hook up a bridle to a monterous rusty hook on the end of the crane. You then hoist the dinghy up ( electrically if the motor is working, hand crank if not), and place the dinghy on a cart to move down the wharf to a parking spot. I thought this was kewl. We checked in--the immigration lady was wonderful--bought some local money ( New Zealand dollars), and lunch--fish and chips (tuna). Niue is an amazing place which is not visited by many tourists. We rented a car (the island is quite large) and visited these surprizing (ok, enough with the surprizing) caverns, swimming pools (Limu pools), and caves.....to be continued.