Rarotonga in our wake


Our intended departure was Sunday August 6th.  But the immigration office was closed on Friday thru Monday.  More Constitution Day Holiday maybe.  Better luck on the 7th.  Immigration office cleared.  Off to customs office.  Things are going so well. they even take credit cards!  Then they want to see my “bill paid” document from the port where we anchored.  But I have not checked out of the port.  I’m wanting to be sure I succeed with customs/immigration before I check out.  A logical approach but that’s not how it works.  I am sent back to the port to check out.  I get there and it goes well until… cash only Big Nose!  I’m off to the Atm.  But that wraps up the port chores.  And I’m back to the customs office to pay the exit tax.  That’s done.  5 hours later and we are good to go!  I have to say this kind of hoohaa is my least favorite part.  The procedures checking in and out of a country are arcane and a bit random and certainly different every place we’ve been so far.  But so it goes.

While I’m fooling around with exit procedures Nancy is reprovisioning.  Guillaume and Huub are schlepping water and fuel to top off the tanks.  This is a process.  There is no option to fuel your boat at a dock.  You have to carry water and fuel in Jerry cans from gas station and water tap.  Loaded into the dingy.  Row it out 150 feet to STW.  Do it again.

Nancy has decided that the pain and itch of flying to meet us in Tonga is less appealing than just staying on the boat.  That does not go too well and she is cabin bound for 90% of the passage.  I predict more flying for  future passages.  Nancy did the provisioning so had a plan for all the supplies. She did enjoy directing the kitchen processes while prone in the aft cabin.

The last chore is to bring up the anchors.  There be two, bow and stern.  You do this is small anchorages so your boat does not swing much as the wind changes across a day.  For example if you have one anchor and put out 100 feet of chain/anchor, you will swing in a 200 ft circle as the wind shifts.  Not going to work in a small anchorage.  With two anchors you swing almost not at all.  I’ve never laid two anchors before.  So what did I learn.  Anchors you are going to retrieve by hand are a lot of work.  But I eventually got the stern anchor into the dingy.  The bow anchor was too easy.  A windlass is an electric winch that hauls the chain and anchor back aboard.  And it made short work of the bow anchor thank you very much. Maybe I should mount another one on those on the stern…

And we sail off into the sunset bound for Niue.  Nancy makes breaded chicken thighs with pasta.  The seas are calm protected by the island.  Makes for good cooking/dining weather.  But this will change….

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