position S019 03.250 W169 55.450

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Fri 8 Jun 2018 08:56
THURSDAY 7th June.  Nuie.

It felt like the promised land that was always just beyond reach. We have had so many tempting reports of Niue, but the fickle wind teased us so that eventual arrival is extra sweet.

We turned the southern tip at about 6am this morning and picked up a mooring at 8am. Unlike the attolls the island has a 3rd dimension (height) so the sheltered bay (from the usual easterlies) afforded an easy mororing bouy pick up. It was a mostly uncomfortable night due to unsufficient wind to hold her steady against the little uneven waves. Several sail changes yesterday included a spinaker spell in the afternoon which was successfuly executed I am chuffed to report-both up and down 1st time.

Niue radio responded after a few attempts to raise someone and arranged a customs officer to meet us at the dock at 9.30.  A french catermeran followed us in and moored within a 1/2 hr of us so there were 4 of us waiting to clear in when  the officer turned up. The french couple had come straight from Mopelier (Mopihaa) where they got delayed for 3 weeks due to rudder damage after the boat dragged its anchor in the lagoon and the rudder grounded.   They were lucky not to be another notorious land attraction like Riri. They also made friends with Jeanne and Toiree and ate lots of langustine and crab.

The dinghy dock here is well documented in all the guides involving a swelly step onto slipery concrete steps followed by craning the dinghy onto the jetty. We managed it O.K with some help from the dockers who were engaged in unloading a supply vessel. Here it is a whole different class of vessel to Palmerston with lots of 16' x 8' containers flying around rather than chest freezers.

The friendly customs officer took us in his van to a very smart office building where we filled in the usual forms and were relieved of plenty of NZ dollars.
Back in the village we paid our mooring fees to the tourist office who are acting for the yacht club since the yacht club lost its building in the 2004 cyclone.  We get the impression that Niue pre 2004 was a quite different place to post. Will in Palmerston who visited before the cyclone impressed on us the need to see the fantastic air conditioned museum- now it's salvaged exhibits fill a small school room set back a couple of miles from the coast. The 10$ entrance fee was hard to justify but we understood the need to try and fund the maintenance of what little historical evidence they have left.  On the way back to the village a sign promised fish for sale outside a container built property- the owner sold us a rainbow runner? from his freezer and gave fascinating instructions on how to catch flying fish at night. They are popular to eat here and much bigger than those that occasionally land on our deck. The fishmonger/fisherman is a NZ ex pat-married and now estranged from a local girl. His containers are standing on land that he cleared after the cyclone belonging to his wifes family. He hopes that as his son is now helping with his business that his wife won't throw him off the land.

We picked up a hire car after availing ourselves of the yacht club showers and will begin to explore the island tomorrow.  Diana has discovered that the market is open at 5am in the morning so threatens an early start.