Rarotonga

Sunday 8/18/2013 21 12.286 S 159 47.105 W http://maps.google.com/?z=7&t=k&q=loc:21%2012.286S%20159%2047.105W posting by Barb: We arrived in Avatiu Harbour, Rarotonga on early morning Friday August 8th. The winds were blowing hard from the North – East and the harbor was rolly and stirred up. We had help to moor med style to the concrete dock. We were squeezed in between two other mono hulls and it was not an easy feat backing in with the winds blowing 20 knots . The next day the sailing vessel Minnie B left and as they pulled up anchor we realized that they were also pulling up our anchor. We were set adrift and had to tie to our neighboring sailing vessel Dolphin of Leith until we could re-anchor. We set out our second anchor and then Dennis re-anchored the main anchor using the dingy. All of this was done in a small harbor with large swell. Our anchor was pulled a second time when the Dolphin of Leath left but this time we were better prepared for this scenario and also had our second anchor out. So the med style anchorage in Rarotonga is not ideal largely due to the minimal amount of space for sailing vessels but it is a beautiful island and worth the anchorage challenges. Rarotonga is luxuriantly green and the people here are extremely welcoming and friendly. It is great to be in an English speaking country again. There are many NZ tourists walking the dock and all are eager to hear the cruisers stories. We have managed to get invitations from several NZ people to come visit them when we arrive on their island. There are currently 9 boats here including us in this small square basin so it does encourage socializing and we have met some great people. We spent a few days next to a wonderful family of 4, mom, dad and children aged 2 and 4 on the Dolphin of Leath. The boat is a 106 years old 30 foot wooden boat and it was sailed all the way from the UK on the way to New Zealand as well. We rented a scooter for a day and got to see the island in its entirety. We traveled on the main road, side roads and a few dirt roads that threatened to take our muffler a couple of times. No scooter adventure would be complete unless we could get the bike dirty. We completed the cross country hike which included a climb up Te Rua Manga (the Needle) and a return trip from the other side of the island on the cross country bus. We did the hike with our friends Kirsten from SV Silhoutte (heading back to Seattle via Hawaii and Alaska) and Anthony from SV Wild Fox (also heading to New Zealand, solo sailing) and shared many a chuckle. The hike was much easier than the Bora Bora hike and I felt in much better shape this time, maybe because we weren’t trying to keep up with 20 year olds. We have eaten out often and for the most part the food has been very good. But our favorites have been the Boogie Burger which was a double homemade patty served with Ketchup, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, shredded carrot, beet and a fried egg. It was an interesting combination and very good. We also had a fantastic dinner at a small restaurant outside of town, by the airport called Nu Bar and Bistro. My steak dinner was so exceptional that I had to personally thank and compliment the chef. And of course, we have enjoyed the many Happy hours at the bar and on the boats with our friends. Tomorrow we leave here and head to Beveridge Reef, 465 miles away. The winds are supposed to be light so it will probably be a slow sail. It will be interesting to see which anchor we pull up besides our own. Our neighbour SV Wild Fox will be leaving at the same time so we hope that is one less anchor to worry about.

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