05 August 2012 | Niue - Cook Islands
We have spent the last couple of days here in Niue ( more about Niue in the next blog) and we finally have decent internet so thought I would recap our adventures over the past couple of weeks.
As some of you know we departed Bora Bora the first time about 3 weeks ago but had to return as the autopilot failed 12 hours so we returned and fixed it. As a result we missed our weather window so we waited another week for the next opportunity to depart on the 1230nm passage to Vava`u Tonga . On the 5th day out the weather allowed for a stopover at Palmerston Atoll .
Palmerston is 600nm from anywhere and it is one of the Cook Islands and you need pretty settled conditions to be able to stop as it is an ocean anchorage that offers no real shelter from wind or waves. We got lucky and the conditions were near perfect for our stay. Others have not been so lucky -- see the picture in the photo gallery of a yacht ( or whats left of it) after is wash onto the reef here last year.
Once we were about 5nm out we called on the radio and were welcomed and directed to the mooring field where we were met by Simon - one of the locals- in his dinghy and he assisted us in selecting and securing a mooring suited to Red Sky. As it was a Sunday we were unable to go ashore because the officials don`t work on Sunday but that was fine with us as we were tired after the passage.
Monday morning Simon returned with the quarantine and customs guys and we were cleared in and officially invited ashore. There is no navigable pass into the atoll so Simon takes you in his dinghy across the reef and into the lagoon.
WOW what a beautiful , unspoiled piece of paradise . The picture I have added to the photo gallery tell the story . Simon and Edward ,took us on a tour of the island and we then joined them and Edwards 87 year old mother for lunch of fresh caught wahoo and rice.
The people of Palmerston live a simple existance and are very self sufficient. The supply ship comes just 2 times a year . Getting the shopping list right is pretty important here !
Last year there had 5 cyclones in one month and many of the buildings were damaged or destroyed . They however were not perturbed by this and accept it as part of their way of life. They just get togeather as a community and rebuild everything they can out of what is left. There is a picture in the photo gallery of a ladder . Simon finally got an aluminium step ladder but not long after he got it was broken so they fashioned a new one using the broken bits of it and some bits of timber they had.
We really enjoyed Palmerston and the people and were disappointed that our stay had to be cut short before we got a chance to explore the lagoon and the other islands within it but due to a wind change that left our boats exposed and the sight of that wrecked yacht we thought it wise to move on.
If you are travelling in our wake and Palmerston is on your list of places to see send an email to Edward , email@example.com and ask if there is anything you could bring the community ,,, they would really appreciate it !