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THE ADVENTURES OF S/V SERENITY AND HER CREW
Niue
08/07/2010

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.

Rarotonga
07/23/2010

David, our BBQ host and new friend

Rarotonga
07/23/2010

Sherry, Grace, and Janet at the BBQ

Rarotonga
07/23/2010

After three days and nights at sea we entered the tiny habor of Avatiu on Rarotonga. We were greeted by our friens on Paikea Mist and Fly Aweigh who took our stern lines and helped us med-moor to the quay. Med-moor means that we drop our bow anchor and back-up to the quay where we tie two stern lines-- keeping us ion place. Did I mention that we HATE med-mooring? We have to use our dinghy on a pully system to get from our boat to the cement quay's ladder. The main town is called Avarua and it is small and quaint. After a good nights sleep our first business is to get some New Zealand money(Rarotonga is freely associated with New Zealand), rent a scooter for a week, and get a Cook Island driver's license. We then get our burger fix at the Dockside Hamburger Hut across the street from the harbor. They have wonderful wedge fries that they serve with sour cream and sweet chile sauce. You cannot appriciate how tasty a good burger and fries are after days at sea. We were surprised to find that many cruisers by-pass Rarotonga-- and that is a shame. We scootered around the island, snorkeled inside the reef, hiked away up into the lush hills, shopped at the Saturday Market, and ate at some really good restaurants. The Saturday Market was a special treat; there were fresh veggies, waffles (to die for), all sorts of local crafts and clothes, food, and free entertainment. There is even a movie theater in town and two public buses-- the clockwise and the anti-clockwise bus. Rarotonga is a vacation destination for New Zealanders and Austrailians-- and everyone is uncommonly friendly. One Kiwi who lives here, David, invited all of the cruisers to his home for a BBQ. He and his wife, Grace, put on a great spread--just to be friendly. Our friends on P. Mist and Fly Aweigh left but we stayed as we wanted to go to the Saturday Market one more time. Our next stop is Beveridge Reef (if the weather allows to enter), then on to the island of niue

Rarotonga
07/23/2010

I always like the trigger fish, they swim so cool and love to have their photo taken.

Rarotonga
07/23/2010

Brain coral

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THE CREW OF SERENITY
Who: SHERRY AND GORDON CORNETT
Port: Ventura/Mammoth Lakes California
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