position S019 03.250 W169 55.450

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sat 9 Jun 2018 08:08

FRIDAY 7th June.  Nuie.

It is extraordinary, amazing and wonderful and it's all about the geology which creates such stunning features all around the coast. The island is a coral attoll that as been pushed up 30m from sea level leaving a limestone egg shaped table about 20 long x 10miles across fringed by a border of coral at sea level. The bay in which we are moored then has a 10m deep coral platform (which may
for all I know extend all around the island) before the sea bed drops 1000's of metres  into the ocean. 

The road runs all around the perimeter and every few miles a sign proclaims a sea track leading down the sea. The 1st explored led to the pink coral fringe which was just covered by the incoming tide, and then to one side a beautiful clear pool in a high cave in which we swam intoxicated by the colours and shapes.

The tracks are very well signed and engineered with boardwalks and handrails. The 2nd led to a series of caves with stalagmites, tites and columns.  3rd was Limu pools- wonderful pools in which we swum and snorkled. Here you experience strange effect of swimming in cooler fresh water over the top of the sea water.  The interface is visible when snorkling as a faintly shimmering gauze just below you.   4th was a chasm- a rift in the rock with fresh over sea water for more amazing snorkling. The sea end of the chasm is blocked by a great boulder round which the waves crash  into the pool. 5th a longer more difficult track over tufa to reach a spectacular natural arch over the coral fringe.

As we had started early for the market (rather a disapointing array of products) where we breakfasted on coconut porridge and donuts, and left before the shops opened we hadn't 
bought lunch before we started. The porridge was nutritiuos and filling but is the closest thing to eating warm snot that I have ever had the misfortune to experience.  So after the 5th track we were feeling the need for lunch and a drink. We had passed a couple of closed cafes but reaching Mutalau at the north of the island we were encouraged by a sign pointing to a village shop. No further clues were visible as to its location so I drove across a well manicured green to a house and found a gentleman round the back working on his trailer. Not really my department he replied but he went into the house and returned with a key which unlocked a small room next to the house.  It had a fridge with some sprites which were welcome and otherwise a few cans of fish and other such non lunchy stuff.  Lunch was thus cancelled but the not shop keeper was chatty and told us how he had cleared the land, built a preschool which his wife runs, converted the village school to a hostel, built a couple of chalets for tourists, all while representing his village at parliament. Now at the age of 67 he keeps the many acres of grass tidy with his 4 ride on mowers (his 'toys') and makes frames for his wifes screen printing business. We got on to the subject of fishing and I complained that we have little success. He was surprised but when I asked him what sort of lure he used he disapeared and returned with a holdall filled with squid type lures of every possible colour and size. There must have been 50 of them neatly packaged in compartments.  He said that he is reluctant to show them to people because if they ask if they can have one he has trouble refusing. I refrained from asking if I could take one but I know now what I need. Lures and more lures. If he doesn't get a bite within a short time he changes the lure. Everything he has done or does now is 'good fun' and judgingby his happy countenance I am inclined to believe him.

We returned to town cautiously avoiding the many potholes, and had a provisioning session at the supermarket before reurning to the boat. The dinghy launch was more challeging due to a nor westerly breeze and now the boat is rolling with some vigour. This is when you need a cat- our french neighbours look sickeningly steady.

Tomorrow there is a village show at Hakupu requiring another early start.

Diana in Avaiki cave