Well I didn’t think I was going to get a post up from the Cook Islands, but on a whim I went to the ultra lux posh resort here on Aitutaki and they were kind enough to sell me some wifi time. So I’m sitting in the shade at the bar in front of the only white sand beach I’ve seen since coming to the South Pacific sending off a quick post. Actually I think that they rake all the coral off the beach leaving just the sand behind. Pretty nice!
Willow and I set off from Bora Bora about 12 days ago in what turned out to be the most severe weather I’d since Tate and my rambunctious crossing of the Sea of Cortez a year and a half ago. It blew out of the South 25-35 knots for 3 straight days while we were generally trying to head West Southwest putting the wind in front of the beam and sending lots of 10-15 foot waves crashing over my bow. Bodhran handled it beautifully though my butterfly hatch didn’t do well with taking direct hits from the waves and leaked like a sieve. The last day in, the weather abated nicely and I ended up making the 480 mile passage in just over 4 days.
Most of the cruising fleet went up to Samoa and were hit by even worse winds, while a few others went to Rarotonga where the port is currently full and is sending boats away. The reason all those other boats skip Aitutaki is the 30 foot wide 6 foot deep pass to get into the atoll. Most of the boats out here are well over 40 feet and draw far too much water to get into Aitutaki, so Rush, Willow, Veleda and I have had the place pretty much to ourselves for the last week. It’s a fantastic island, reminiscent of the Marquesas with the immaculately maintained yards and fields, but with good roads, cheap bike rentals, New Zealand beer and people who speak English. It’s been nice not having a language barrier with the locals, though we’ve had a hard time finding people to play music with.
I’m taking off for 190 mile trip to Palmerston Atoll tomorrow, which will definitely not have internet access. There’s no pass into the atoll, so the anchorage is exposed, but depending on weather, I’ll probably be there a week or so and then it’s off to Nuie. I should be there in a couple of weeks.