Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday 19th August

Cook Islands

21 12.295 S
159 47.091 W

Abigail and I had been reading the tourist guide for Rarotonga and it was recommended that attendance at the Cook Island Christian Church was not to be missed, so we decided that we would go along to hear the choir singing. Gerry wanted to do some work under the floorboards so it was best that we made ourselves scarce for the morning. We had breakfast and then the two of us set off to go into town and find the church. The town was deserted, nothing opens on a Sunday; we walked along the shore side walkway and enjoyed the views along the way. We eventually found the turn off to the church and made our way there; once outside I was a bit disconcerted to notice a sign saying that “no shorts or long pants for women were allowed”, I had worn Capri pants and was wary about offending the church body but a visiting preacher came up to us and welcomed us and when I asked about my mode of dress he said that he disagreed with the local dictate and I would be welcome anyway then he went off to talk to the local minister. Just before the service was about to begin he returned to us and showed us where to go, as it happened there were quite a few women (including some locals) wearing pants and shorts, mine were not the worst violation by any means! All the visitors were seated in the gallery overlooking the body of the church. The service was held in Maori and then translated into English; there were 2 choirs and the singing was magnificent. After the service which went on for 2 hours we were invited back to the hall to share refreshments with everybody but we politely declined as we were expected back at the boat for lunch. We made our way back to the boat walking along the shop side of the town, unfortunately even the window displays were covered up or put away out of sight so there wasn’t too much to look at. We found a tattoo parlour that was open and Abigail had to go and have a look at the designs, she is desperate to get a Polynesian tattoo before leaving here and was sussing out what she liked. We made it back to the boat and were greeted by Gerry asking what was for lunch. We then had to listen to what Gerry had achieved during our absence - not a great deal! Then it was time to get busy and fix the new sliders to the main sail and run a new topping lift line as our one had frayed during the trip. Once we had found the sail maker’s palm (it was in a safe place), the sail needles and thread and some new tape I set about stitching the new sliders into place whilst Gerry hoisted Abigail up the mast to replace the topping lift line. We finished both jobs at about the same time and after taking some photos, with bear in the bosun’s chair with Abigail we packed away the sail and the repair gear and retired to have a rum punch and an afternoon rest. There were no restaurants open as it was Sunday but the fish and chip shop just over the road from the dock was open so we opted to get a take away from there for dinner. Just as we were deciding to watch a movie we heard a yell from outside – a couple of guys from the other boats wanted to know if Abigail would like to go to the movies with them, they had no idea what was showing but she went along anyway. I sat and typed up the blog notes for the trip whilst Gerry read until 22.00hrs when Abigail returned. It turned out that they didn’t go to the movies and a group of 5 of them, mostly in their 20’s went for a few beers at a local pub, it was good for her to have some people of her own age to have a chat with and share stories of their experiences on the various boats. After listening to her relating the stories of the night we all went to bed.



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