Blog 51. Nuie. 19.03.33S 169.55.52W

David Batten
Sun 29 May 2016 23:31
Sunday 29 May 2016. We have been so busy since the last blog, time has just flown and there has not been a moment to update the blog. Wednesday early morning watches were great for Anthony and then the wind died and Skipper's wife nearly threw herself overboard with one engine just keeping us going and the mainsail playing slap bang in the confused swell. Then by lunchtime we were sailing, wind just forward of the beam and from then on, it was no complaints, just comments in the log like "no rain, no squalls", "Really wonderful sailing", "Sunny, spinning along, sailing at it's best", so everyone happy. We had land in sight by 15.00 hrs on Thursday 25 and picked up a buoy behind Spirit at 18.50 ship's time, 17.50 Nuie time, with light enough to spare to see the FAD (Fishing Aggregation Device) aka a fish farm! as well as the leading lines.

Thursday 26 May. First job, make a bridle for the dinghy in order to be able to winch it up onto the wharf, the only way to land a dinghy on Nuie, then take said dinghy ashore to check in with everyone, customs, immigration, environmental health etc, etc. All incredibly friendly and helpful, to the extent that one of the environmental health reps, the delightful Ali, offered to run the Skipper's Wife up to the hospital to get an eyelid infection checked out. Great plan which almost worked except that all the doctors were in theatre doing a Caesarian Section, so Ali gave Skipper and Wife a lift back to the village, Alofi, with a promise that she would pick them up after lunch for another try. Lunch at the mini golf course then back to the hospital after a little detour to see some of the Island and guess what, another Caesarian Section was about to start, so could we come back tomorrow. They usually have a baby a month, so this was some kind of record, but having established that a doctor would definitely be available after surgery and after a wait of not much more than an hour, the patient was seen, prescription written and antibiotic in hand in less than 10 minutes. All for the princely sum of 35 NZ dollars. Then another fun lift with Ali and then back to the Nuie Yacht Club, who have done so much to make our stay at Nuie so relaxed and such fun.

So we have had three wonderful days in a yet unspoilt paradise, where we have not had to lock up the boat, chain up the dinghy and where everyone appears to be happy and content. They still bury their family members on the family land if they wish and there are beautiful graves along the road side everywhere. There are many houses that have been left to fall down, but the lived in ones are clean and tidy and the villages most attractive. We have eaten at every restaurant in town and not had a bad meal and last night, we were given a sumptuous supper by the locals, including roast pig, sea snails, delicious salads, breads and other not totally identified local delicacies. We have climbed into caves and chasms, very awe inspiring, snorkelled in the crystal clear water and bicycled for miles. The landscape is beautiful and different to all the other islands, particularly on the east coast and the sea snakes are harmless.

For a yacht, it a fantastic place to visit so long as the wind is in the east and there is a buoy available, as anchoring is not really a safe option. We are very privileged to have been able to come here with WARC and so have all the advantages of organised moorings etc at a time when the Island is still relatively tourist free. It is one of our favourite places to date and we have really loved our stay here.

This afternoon we leave for Tonga, expecting another slow trip, but the wind is good at the moment, so who knows.

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