Rarotonga

Panulirus
CR and KN Williams
Mon 17 May 2010 00:35
21.12S 159.47W
 
Sunday 16th May,
 
Arrived yesterday at 08:15 completely knackered (?sp or perhaps not).
 
The trip was aweful, one of the worst. First two days motoring in no wind then all hell broke loose.
 
Three days with 20-25 beam winds ( up to 37 kts ) and 3m+ beam seas, it took three hands to go to the loo ( girls only need 2 ).
The boat as always was fine apart from the rolling which merely chucked most of our belongings on the floor.
For the last two days we spent much of our time trying to slow down lest we arrive in Rarotonga at 3am (just as well since the green entrance marker didn't exist).
Fun started when we were asked to 'med-moor', stern to, as we did in Turkey. No prob thought I, (even in 25kts beam wind in the harbour) until the anchor (serviced 1 month ago ) refused to drop.
After a fair amount of going about in embarassing circles they moved us to an alongside berth behind a container ship. The harbourmaster thought this a bit rough (literally) and moved us into a gap in the inner harbour between a tug and a largish fishing boat. Only when we had tied up did I realise we had nearly 4 feet to spare.
The weather remains aweful, but who cares when you're tied up?
 
Raratonga is lovely and the people are so helpful it's amazing. Clare allowed me to have a king prawn Vindaloo, so perhaps she loves me after all. The fisherman thought our stern line was too small (even stronger winds are expected) so he lent me one of his!
 
K
 
We were actually lucky the anchor refused to drop as there is a huge surge in the outer harbour and without the dinghy we wouldnt have been able to get ashore as you need a long gap to the wall. A nice New Zealander has come and taken the dinghy away to repair it in his back garden. He also has a friend who is going to sort out the 2h.p. outboard (maybe). The anchor windlass is slipping..we will probably try and take it to bits tomorrow ourselves..at least there seem to be people here to help if necessary unlike the French who say ' desole' with scorn in the voice.
I am very excited as I have found a proper laundry to collect the washing. I hate launderettes.
 
Apparently the trade winds are squashed between 2 areas of high pressure and are retaliating with 25 knot winds and squalls with torrential rain and big gusts. Hanging on in the cockpit in the pouring rain at 2 a.m. I did wonder why I was doing this. I decided I could think of worse things..i.e.jogging or running the marathon ! I amused myself by imagining some masterchef contestants on board.
 
Raratonga is so lovely it is all worth it.
 
C
 
Raratonga is so ni