Monday, August 20, 2007

Saturday 18th August

Cook Islands

21 12.295 S
159 47.091 W

I spent most of my watch trying to get the cross track error back down, we had been forced to go about 7 miles off track and clawing back that 7 miles took almost all night to achieve but by the time 06.00hrs came around we had just .5 mile to make up and we were just 5 miles from our way point. Gerry and I were both on deck at dawn and we decided to slow our approach down a little by furling the jib away, we didn’t want to go into the harbour until the light was good as it is surrounded by reef and boulders and we were tired and didn’t need any dramas at the last minute.
We took down the French Polynesia flag and hoisted the Q flag. We found the lead lights with no problem, they were bright blue but as soon as the sun rose they went out and we had to try and line up two triangles for the harbour approach. We dropped the main and turned on the engine to enter the harbour, calling the Rarotonga radio as per the guide instructions. We were told to await the harbour master’s instructions for docking and as we slowly made our way into port we wondered if we were ever going to hear from him. Suddenly we were hailed on the radio by a yacht that was docked alongside, they offered to help tie us up (it’s stern to docking with an anchor out). We explained that we were waiting for the harbour master’s directions and then got told that he was on vacation! After some discussion and chat with 2 of the guys docked alongside we were assisted to anchor and tie up. Finally by 07.45hrs we were able to turn off the motor and breath a sigh of relief, the passage was over. Our new neighbours were quick to introduce themselves and give us directions to everything and explain the requirements for checking in – it was all very relaxed here and no pressure to do anything until Monday. After a cup of coffee, a shower and change of clothes we took all the laundry across the road to the nearby launderette and then headed to the hole in the wall for some cash and then on to the weekly market (Saturdays only). We strolled through the market and purchased a few fruits and vegetables and Abigail bought a couple of things that she fancied
before returning to the launderette to collect our clean laundry – great service 2 hours and it was all done and reasonably priced too. The afternoon was spent having a sleep to catch up with the lost hours in transit. Around 18.00hrs we walked towards town to an Indian restaurant that we had spotted, I wouldn’t recommend it in a million years, the food was bland and the service left a lot to be desired but we were all too tired to care too much and returned to the boat as soon as we had finished eating and were all in bed asleep again by 21.00hrs.



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