Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Thu 24 Oct 2013 22:57
Bill dropped Metz off to Beez whilst he went for the ‘officials’ to log in a new arrival. We spent a hour saying our ‘farewells’ and very emotional it was too. Bill and Metz (the children were in school) left us and we waved for the last time, leaving the buoy at eleven o’clock. Palmerston soon faded and we caught our last glimpse at the breaking waves over the reef. Deep water in minutes, sails set, engine off and on a fast one, taking some very special memories of our time here.
Things settled to a lovely passage with a gentle sunset.
A peaceful skipper.
The new day. First twenty four hours saw 131.8 miles completed.
Todays sleeping Bear gave me the giggles. The sun and shade cast lines up and down his face in perfect timing with the snores.
Another wonderful day on the Peaceful Ocean. 134 miles done.
A bit of variety with a rare average of being awake.
At six this morning I went off to bed with the light of Niue showing.
Bear let me have three of my four hour sleep, I was more than happy to leap up to a new flag ceremony – this time we had to hoist the New Zealand flag as we have never been able to buy the Niuean. The way of things here is to hale Niue Radio who organises Customs and Immigration ashore and call back with a time. That done we asked the Yacht Club permission to use one of their mooring buoys – so simple.
Bear looking in a skippers position. At nine twenty we were on the Niue Yacht Club mooring ball number 13. Off the main town of Alofi. Our next door neighbour was none other than – Windarra. 397.6 nautical miles completed at an average speed of 5.65 knots. Of the seventy hours and twenty minute journey, engine usage was a minimal hour and a half..................
Bear had asked for at least an hour as Baby Beez had to be inflated and launched, so when the radio chirped a few minutes later, “ten thirty” – Oh half an hour then of running around like lit up ants then. Racing to the wharf a few minutes late, we looked up and saw several people all ready to help us hoist Baby Beez on the crane, as is the way here. We suggested to the group that perhaps as we would be very late after our ‘lesson’ we should perhaps just tie up for now, until after we had logged in. “Oh no, you’re coming to see us, we’re used to this.” With that the chap from Customs did the clipping, raising and directing of Bear to come ashore. I stood and watched the whole business. The Immigration lady went for the trolley and the Health lady oversaw the whole operation. A polystyrene mattress was lined up in a parking place and Baby Beez was driven up and pushed off the trolley into her new daytime resting place. Marvelous.
We settled in the gazebo and all paperwork was completed in ten minutes, Beez just visible beside the only other boat in, a catamaran. If only everywhere we visited was like this, such a pleasure. All done we saw Windarra coming ashore, lovely to see them and plenty of hugs all round. We all watched a local show us a slick hoisting business. Then off to explore.
The rugged coastline, one of the largest coral islands in the world. The wharf spreading upward to the town.
From the top of the slope we could look out to the three ladies, Beez in the middle.
We found a real mix of signs and a very unusual mix at that – Niue Philatelic & Numismatic Company, Duty Free (a visit today and as we leave allowed) And Double M ‘Butcher with a Difference’. A sneak peek out at the scenery.
The top of the slope opened into a small graveyard, looking down we couldn’t help watch yet another hoisting, still a real novelty to us.
A little way along the main road we explored the Shopping Mall. Cute little shops all with a massive welcome.
The bank showing us the words for welcome means this language is no simple affair.
A local pointed out the smart little Police Station. “With no crime here at all, they can be seen out and about – looking the part.”
A new one to the collection of number plates.
Arriving at the yacht club, we were met by the very knowledgeable Ira, who logged us in to the club. “Wine and beer, help yourself and keep a tab.” Incredible. Courtesy flag bought, plans for hiring a van with Windarra for a few days to explore and it was time to go and fly kites with Sofia and Blake. Duty free shop en route, a quick look round the supermarket and back home for a game or two and an early night. Really looking forward to everything this super friendly island has to offer.
Our new Niue flag soon hoisted.
ALL IN ALL VERY DIFFERENT AND WELCOMING
EXCITING AND FRIENDLY