Rarotonga - The return of "Bob the Blog"

Lars Alfredson
Mon 15 Apr 2013 22:14

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                                    The Dragon returns


13/04/2013 Friday – Auckland   note the day/date combination


I can’t believe I’ve only been here 24hours. It all started getting a bit out of hand when the flight from Auckland to Rarotonga

was delayed for three hours. Having already spent eight hours trying to amuse myself, I had taken a bus into Manukua city centre,

shopping mall for lunch. Having failed to find  a glass of NZ’s famous wine to go with my pseudo McDonald’s, or a Bar,

I bit the bullet and returned to the airport and beer at £10 a pint.


To say I was a little tired would be and understatement, but in my wisdom decided the best solution was to embrace the sleep inducing

properties of several beers and a few large Chardonnays to induced sleep and its restorative powers on this final leg of my journey

thus arrive refreshed at Rarotonga..


Now with the delayed departure I had to try and reverse the situation and was in serious danger of falling asleep and missing the flight.

A few bucket fulls of coffee soon put me into a bit of a stupor, such that having left my bags with a fellow traveller;

I couldn’t find either on my return from the bar. Fortunately a gentleman seeing my state and listening to my tale was able to point me

in the right direction and re-unite me with my bits!


Boarded at last and in the bosom of my window seat (At least would save me the indignity of falling into the aisle in my slumber),

I belted up and switched of the brain.


It was all going frightfully well until a commotion woke me up to find a gaggle of stewardesses with buckets, paper towels and some

evil smelling disinfectant attending to the firm young thing in the aisle seat, now reduced to a tear stained, mascara mess busy trying

to fill her sick bag but sadly her aim left a little to be desired.


Landing at Rarotonga, having duly declared my contraband lemon drizzle cake and jar of Marmite I was out into the hot night air.

But where was Lars?


Thank God and Goggle earth. Having had a look at the Island during the week I knew the small harbour was next to the Airport and

having checked with my local, friendly Taxi driver, now $20 richer for a two minute journey we arrived dockside to see the good ship

“Dawnbreaker” anchored off.


“How are you going to get onto the yacht?” he enquired. “simple” I thought to myself, …” for $20 I expect you to swim out and raise

“Mon Capitan” from his slumbers so he can bring the dinghy over to collect me”


The gods were smiling and before he learned his fate, Lars duly appeared, and before you could say “Pass me a beer” I was introduced

to my fellow shipmates Fred and Grete and put in my bunk


Most people would think that this was quite enough excitement for one day, but then we have to consider what is a day?


13042013 Friday again, having cross the international date line .. A little confusing!


 0530 (Probably) having finally got to sleep I awake soaking wet. Are we sinking? have I become incontinent so soon? Nope,

my first tropical rain storm and open port holes are not a good combination. I’m too tired to care and having shut the offending lights

and stemmed to flow, found a dry spot to resume my slumbers.


Finally surfacing I’m advised that “we” have hired a car and are heading out for lunch as well as to try and gather intelligence on a rugby match

that would be taking place on Saturday. We are fed and watered at the yacht club, with its very nice beachside bar restaurant, while we watch the canoeing races.






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                                                       Outrigger canoe racing.


Afterwards we dash back to meet the fuel tanker in time to take on some 500 litres of diesel for out onward journey.

Easing off the anchor line and taking up the slack on the stern lines we winch ourselves towards the dock wall to pick up the fuel hose.

This all went remarkably well considering the interminable swell


Earlier that afternoon, this same swell had caused our neighbouring yacht to drag her anchor and in the absence of her crew we’d set out on rescue mission to secure her.


Soon it was happy hour. Having watched the erection of a large marquee on the dockside opposite our anchorage during the afternoon,

we now saw its purpose. Slowly it filled with the good and the great. Then the great orators stepped up to the microphone as we and they were

entertained with a succession of boring speeches for what? we were none the wiser in the end.


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Luckily it was time to leave them to it as we departed to “Trader Jacks” for dinner. Sadly and as is the way, we fell in with a “Bad Lot”.

The crew off a neighbouring yacht we had rescued, who insisted they show their appreciation at the bar.


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                                   The crew of “Splices of Heaven” lead us astray.


 Fred, having got enthusiastic with the Sauvignon Blanc had now taken to dancing as he and Grete cleared to floor.

That should be enough for one day though as technically I haven’t been here for 24hours I will continue……


We wove our way back to the dinghy Lars and I return aboard having lost the dancers somewhere on the way. Then a shout from ashore and Lars heads over to pick up the stragglers.


As Fred’s bum lowers, to seat itself, a large swell raises the Dinghy in a rapid vertical motion, and as Newton said “ to every action there is and equal and

opposite reaction .. “ true, Fred is launched upward but fails to find it on his earthward return and ends up in the water complete with

a backpack of computers,. Sadly, I-pads may be good but they ain’t waterproof.


14042013 Saturday


0430 I have yet to learn the lesson, as I hastily try shutting the Ports and stemming the flow water onto my bunk.

The choice is hot and sweaty or cool and wetty . Who cares it was still damp anyhow.


Breakfast and the skies are overcast with intermittent downpours, 100% humidity and 28C. As part of the days plan is to go snorkelling

the wet shouldn’t be a problem. Fred and Grete have taken the Car on a shopping trip prior to our departure and return bearing news of

a big event at the nearby market. Tee-shirts on we head out. There, a lots of stalls selling exotic fruits and veg.

Coconuts and bananas grow in abundance and are easily recognisable some others still remain a mystery.


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                         Conch shell blowing.


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                                              Polynesian Black Pearls


There are lots of Stalls some display “TiKi’s” with varying sizes of manhood, mainly large or larger and others selling black pearls ranging

from low grade pricey to high quality very expensive. We head for the music and find a band and Hula dancers entertaining the crowd

and as the rain return we head back to the car to start our days outing.


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                                                        Spot the imposter.


As we board our chariot of desire we get a damp response to the nether regions. Did I mention it’s the smallest convertible car you’ve ever seen,

but the roof really should be closed when it rains.




Off we go, following the one road that runs all the way around the circular island. This also serviced by two bus routes with the buses

suitably signed “Clockwise” and Anti-clockwise.We pass the local brewery, correction, we go down the track to explore this Find, but it’s closed.

Continuing, like the rain we find a nice beachside hotel and restaurant for Lunch. The Gods smile, the rain stops and the sun pokes through.


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                                     Swordfish with exotic chips.


Sated, we say goodbye the to beautiful flower arrangements and the rude “TiKi’s” , Polynesian style wood carvings with a lot of artistic licence

in some areas and head off in search of a good beach and reef to snorkel from.


My new mask leaks like a sieve as we swim out to an offshore island and onwards to the main barrier reef with its roaring beakers.

The bottom on the way is mainly sand covered with a thousand sea squirts which look disconcertingly like the product of an over active toilet..

The occasional large rock of corals provides a home for some very exotic and brightly coloured fish as well as large shoals of yellow fin that let me swim along with them.


Now to the beach bar and O’joy it’s happy hour and the drinks are half price. But even better news as were advised that prices

at the rugby club are half that again. One for the road and off to the rugby.


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                                                                   Saving on washing up.


It’s bucketing down, the pitch has been freshly mown, well only where the marker lines go and they are a peculiar pattern.

As advised the prices are excellent and the pitch side marquee is dispensing food from the bar-b-q. The game appears to be rugby league

so suitable entertained and soaked in equal measure we return to “Dawnbreaker” in time for happy hour,  a feast of last nights left over pizza,

a trip to Trader Jack for a drink, and so to bed. 






BOB the BLOG is back