Howdy from Rarotonga

The sun just slid behind the lush hill to the West, and the kids (all kids, not just ours) are still performing their jumps from the quay.
Avatiu Harbour, in the island of Rarotonga, capital of the Cook Islands nation. That’s where we are. And we haven’t been here long. Four or five hours, to be exact.
We arrived earlier today, after four days of passage from Tahiti. And it was NOT an uneventful one. Right from the onset we realized how “rusty” our sea legs had gotten, and each of us felt the impact. Raquel and Adri both felt terribly seasick and remained so all the way. I hung from a thread due to medication. And even Paulo acknowledged to have felt tired at some points. There were a few thrills as well. On the first day, a hose connection went loose and dispensed the entire content of our fresh water tank into our bilge. Luckily we were able to make water along the way. And now we have a very clean bilge. And a hose connection so tight that it will NEVER come loose agan! Then, on day three, a wave top broke just onto our aft deck, making its way through the hatch, drenching Adriana – who was trying to sleep – and our stateroom in the process. Finally, I underestimated Pesto’s speed potential for this passage, resulting that we would arrive to Rarotonga during the night, w
hich is something we never do. So we had to spend the last afternoon and night zig-zagging to the Northeast of the island awaiting for a proper daylight landfall.
But, fait accompli, here we are. The Customs official wasn’t happy to have to open his office on a national holiday because of us. But we were warmly received by a lady from the Cook Islands Yacht Squadrom – Pesto’s homeport – who promised to pick us up tomorrow for a visit of the premises.
And then there were the kids. Being a national holiday I presume there was no school today and all kids seemed to come to the quay to show off their jumping prowess. They were even more thrilled when we tied Pesto’s mooring lines the dock, using them as an equipment for their evolutions. But what we really enjoyed was how swiftly Paulo and Raquel blended in. As soon as we were done with the dissatisfied customs guy, they jumped in the water and started playing with the kids. “Dad, we can actually TALK to them” was their immediate reaction, after almost an year dealing with the language barrier in French Poly (people speak english here in the Cooks).
And so went our first afternoon in the Cook Islands.
We have the impression we will like it very much here.

Well, Adriana is producing our first warm meal of the last four days, it’s smelling delicious, and I have to wrap up this post.
Have a good night !

And the wait is over

Weather has finally settled in a way that is allowing us to depart.
Accordingly, yesterday we started the paperwork to do so, and with this our long stay here in French Polynesia starts to de-materialize to the Memories category.
Ahead, a multi-step voyage in which we shall cover nearly 1,500 miles within the next twenty days or so. From Tahiti we sail to Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands. From there to Niue, and then finally to Vavau, in Tonga.
What has made the planning of this voyage tricky is the fact that all intermediary stops are roadsteads, with little to protection. Thus the need for settled weather.
We depart today. Tired with the last minute prep, anxious to be breaking in back into cruising and for the long passage ahead, but glad to be cruising again !
We expect to reach Rarotonga in 5 days or so. And if technology permits, we shall publish updates underway as well.
Have a great weekend !

Watch n’ Wait

That time is coming again.

The time when the project list is complete (or as complete as it will get). When everything tying is to land looses relevance. When the horizon starts to beckon, and anxiety to grow.

It’s the time to start watching the weather recurrently, to identify patterns, to anticipate a proper weather window to go.

It’s time to go West.

But not quite yet.

Macro conditions have been unsettled between us and our next intended destination – Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands.

So, we keep watching the weather. And waitin’.