Rarotonga Wrap Up

Rarotonga was our first stop during our 1,200-mile transit from Tahiti, in French Polynesia, to Neiafu, in the Kingdom of Tonga, where we currently are. It took us four days to cover 600 miles of ocean in what was a high-charged passage.

Upon arrival, when I was clearing in with local officials, I mentioned we planned to stay for up to 10 days. The customs guys said it was a lot. We ended up staying 18, pinned down by the weather.

Despite the bouncy harbor, we were very pleased with our visit of Rarotonga. For starters, we were the first Cook-Islands Flagged cruising vessel to ever call it there, and were received accordingly by the MCI team. As small and remote that this Island is, we also managed to meet with a few Brazilians, with whom we made good friendships. Moreover, the island is a gem – nice people, good food, and beautiful places to visit. And when the weather kept us in the cabin, we took the opportunity to advance with homeschooling.

Well, I will let the pictures complement and wrap up this story:

Raquel enjoying a stack of nuggets for a snack
The Cooks even brew their own beer. And it stands with dignity beside their international brethren, like the Kiwi Steinlager, also quite ubiquitous here
In typical Polynesian fare, the roosters and chicken are free-range, everywhere. We found them to be particularly daring here, walking among patrons of a local restaurant
Walking along Rarotonga’s main waterfront
Being interviewed by the MCI Team
Taking the opportunity of being “overdressed” for the interview to take some selfies
Avatiu harbor at dusk. We shared it with everything, from other cruising yachts to fishing boats, touring boats, inflatable water toys, cargo ships and military vessels
The Tiare Taporo holds a place of its own in the harbor. As tired as it is, she still holds the charm of the olden days
Why make it big if you can keep it small? The impossibly cute office of Customs at the harbor
Loading up on provisions for the upcoming passage to Niue
The label peeled off, but the ketchup still goes up for sale. Nothing is wasted in these resource-stricken islands
Adriana at Muri Beach
Living the hard life in the Muri Lagoon

 

May the 4th be with you…

Hello Internet!
Paulo here, and today I’ve got some very exciting news. Today is Star Wars Day!!!!! (May the 4th … get it?  “May the force be with you” … get it?)
Today is the day for all you Star Wars… Wait… What is a Star Wars fan called? A Starfan? A Star Warsian?
Anyways, today’s the day for all you Star Warsians to show your love of the franchise!
Re-watch The movies!
Which ones are you going to watch?
Do you prefer the classic (and awesome) stories of the Original Trilogy, the bone chilling action of the Prequels, or the fresh adventure and CGI of the Force Awakens and Rogue One?
Or will you spend the day playing with your toy Millennium Falcon? And then maybe pick a friend and re-create an iconic Star Wars scene with your plastic lightsabers and yelling to your friend,”No, I am your father!“?
Maybe even play some of the star wars classic videogames, like Star wars Battlefront 2, Star wars Empire at war or Star Wars Republic Commando, you can even play Knights of the old republic! (All of these games can be found on steam.com)
Anyways, I, will now present you some fresh and exciting star wars news!
1: The trailer for episode 8 came out OMG! The movie is going to be called the “Last Jedi” what do you think the title means?
 Star Wars The Last Jedi.jpg
2: Star wars Han Solo movie confirmed! We don’t yet know the title nor any details about the movie, but we do know it’s coming out in 2018.
 Han Solo depicted in promotional image for Star Wars (1977).jpg
Happy May the 4th everyone! And may the Force be ever in your favor! Get it?(Hunger games reference)

We are just trying to get some sleep here, folks …

Day broke, and Adriana’s and my eyes were wide and baggy. It’d seen like an afterparty awakening. Only that we were not waking up – we’d not been asleep at all. For long. And while there were a lot of drumming and moving all through the night … a party it wasn’t.

***

Raratonga’s only harbour, Avatiu, is exposed to the wide-open sea. That we knew.

The exposure is oriented to the North. So, as long as the winds would not blow from that direction, we should be fine. So we reasoned.

Since our arrival here, the winds have been blowing ONLY from the North …

The wind per se is not a problem. To the contrary, a relief from the warmth of the tropical autumn. But this wind, blowing along miles of vast ocean surface, creates waves. These waves enter Avatiu harbour. Unobstructed.

And that’s only the beginning.

Once inside, the waves hit the concrete walls that surround half the perimeter of the small harbour, creating a backwash. The reflected waves sometimes reflect AGAIN on the opposing wall and … well, there you go, a large-scale washing machine is formed.

Since our arrival, Pesto has been bouncing a lot, her bow raising to the waves that just entered the harbour, and her stern being slapped loudly by the waves that just backwashed from the wall.

Our bed is positioned at Pesto’s stern. Right were it is slapped. It’s been nosy.

Then, yesterday the rain arrived. It had been announced by the forecast long ago.

The rain made the air, which was already very humid, now absolutely damp.

The rain forces us to keep all our hatches closed.

The air inside the cabin quickly got saturated, condensing on the inside of the hatches.

We now had our own private condensation-induced rain inside our cabin.

And then night came.

As it did, the rain accelerated the winds, which then aroused the seas some more.

And our Washing Machine switched to the “max-spin” mode.

All night long, our bedroom bounced up and down, left and right. We rolled on our bed without having intended to. The incessant slapping from the backwash waves creating a cyclical thump. It felt as if we were inside a drum. And every time I did manage to fall asleep in those conditions, a drop of condensation water would fall over some part of my body – never on the bed, of course.

And then there was boat-keeping. I must have gotten up at least 20 times last night. To wipe condensation from the hatches, just to watch it forming instantly afterwards. To open the hatches for fresh air, then to close them a few minutes later because the rain had resumed. To check that our mooring lines were in place. To check that our anchor was holding. To check that our neighbors mooring lines were in place. To check that their anchor was holding. And to check that Pesto was not going to smack their boat, and vice versa.

In the middle of the night, Adriana at some point decided to overcome it all with dignity, and came to the main salon to read. But it was too bouncy, seasickness threatening, and she came back to bed resigned to withstand what was left of that shit show for the night.

Through the hatch, we watched the sky turn from pitch black to grey, and then to blue. The sun is out, the winds slower, the waves smaller. All hatches are open, no more condensation inside. We are sleepless, but the crazy night is over, and hopefully a calm day is in order. Adriana is producing a wonderful spinach omelet to get it started the right way.

We are all in hopes that the forecast upholds its promise, that the rain move away, that the North winds keep slow, that the waves remain low.

We are hoping it does.

Because all we want for tonight, folks, is to get some sleep.

Have a GREAT weekend !