04 October 2017
Time to move on and head toward Niue. With our genoa being in a sad state, we picked weather with little wind and motored most of the way. We did try our little foresail for a while but it didn’t add too much to the speed. Niue is one of those amazing rocks in the middle of the South Pacific. It looked harsh surrounded by cliffs but it hid a few little gems of places worth seeing. Our first task was to learn how to operate the dinghy crane. Once we saw how it was done, it was easy after that. We had to haul our dinghy out of the water every time. We quickly learnt to avoid the rush hour when commercial operators would be putting in their boats in the early morning, prior to lunch and after lunch, and then again at the end of the day. We managed to get a mooring next to the main wharf and once again, we were enthralled by the whales that came up close to the wharf and played around, often for an hour at a time. We just hoped they would leave the mooring lines alone. They have been known to take out a mooring with their playing around the boats. Clearing in was reasonably painless and took less than an hour. We managed to rent a car, as there is really no way of getting around the island. We also needed it to get fuel from the one and only fuel station over a mile away. It was also our first taste of NZ food and delights. This is the first time in a long time that 1) I could read the labels on what I was buying and 2)knew what I was buying. Fresh food was a little more of a challenge as it all goes to the main market at 0400 on a Saturday morning. But just to eat an ice-cream was enough for a while. We spent half a day re-securing the sail again and then took sometime out to tour the island. The island is full of amazing rock formations from sandy canyons to magnificent arches. Taking our time, we spent one day touring the north and doing some of the sea tracks and one day doing the south. We had dinner at the one and only resort and were entertained by some of the local children dancing. Not very polished but they certainly enjoyed showing off for us. It was a place with plenty to see and do but we had to move on when a period of no wind came up so we could get to Tonga with minimal stress on our rig. It was sad to see the whales go as we knew that never again would they be so close to us and never again would we be where they can entertain us off the back of our boat.