Palmerston to Niue (NEW-wee)
08 September 2007 | 60 miles west of Palmerston
Sometimes it's not so easy. Malou is having a two-year-old moment and we are sailing directly downwind and rocking back and forth, so it is not very comfortable. But on the bright side, Steen fixed the adapter cord to the computer, saving us from being 'computerless' on the way to Niue. (Of course we didn't bring any spare parts for the computer, and our power adapter cord broke just near the computer port end.) We were able to cut and strip the wires and Steen soldered them back together and sealed it with that red electrical gooey stuff. So, we are back in business, thankfully. Writing a note to the blog sometimes feels like 'talking' to a friend or someone. That's not to meant to sound pathetic. Anyway, here we are, on our way to Niue, a big rock island shaped like a birthday cake; no beaches, rivers, or waterfalls...but what they do have are some crazy caves, with light shafts and strange shapes - we're not sure, but it sounds interesting.
So Palmerston was...'almost paradise'; a description apparently used by some that have come before us. Almost paradise seems to sum it up nicely. The main island itself is lovely, the coral reefs dramatic, the fish abundant (and tasty), the people very friendly, but...there is a weird rivalry among the three branches of the 'Marsters' family. With only fifty-some people living on the island, local tension wasn't hidden very well. Another story for another time - but we will say again, that every cruiser has a different experience in the places they visit. For some, Palmerston was their favorite place; for others it was Manihi or Moorea. Even if two people are at the same place at the same time, their personal experiences could be very different. Quite interesting, although maybe not the way I write about it.
I'll let Steen fill in the specifics of our stay at Palmerston in his next posting.
Things We Like:
1. We WOULD recommend stopping at Palmerston; either mooring or anchoring outside the reef were safe as long as the winds were not from the west, (which this time of year they are usually not from the west).
2. If stopping in Palmerston, don't forget to have some 'gifts' on board. They only get a supply ship every 3 or 4 months, (sometimes longer), so they appreciate goods like flour, chocolate, Nutella, jam, crackers, fresh produce if possible, although anything that might have bugs may not be allowed on the island; gasoline for their outboards. Anything for kids is also appreciated; DVD's, CD's, games, goodies. Art supplies would probably be good, for kids and adults alike. They do a lot of weaving, engraving, fabric painting, sanding, shell work. Their woven hats are a specialty, but you may have to wait a week or more while it is woven.
3. Try to be at Palmerston on a Sunday, for church; the traditional singing is in the language of Cook Island Maori, and is led by one of the grandmothers, who starts the song and is 'answered' by the men and then the women of the congregation, like a musical conversation. All a cappella, and in unusual harmonies that sound a little strange and almost haunting to American ears.
4. Take a recorder to church. We didn't, but I wish we had.
5. RE: French Polynesia, if paying a bond upon arrival in French Polynesia, (required of Americans), ask for the bond to be returned in New Zealand currency or American bills, not French Polynesian francs...
Thank you for the comments. We can't see them via remote, but our family is so good about copying and pasting them to us in separate emails, so thank you all. Sometimes I think we're just 'blowing smoke', going on about this and that, and that maybe nobody reads this stuff anyway...but it is really nice to hear from you. Thanks.