Coming into the world's smallest self-governing states: Niue
Thu 26 May 2016 08:30
From Suwarrow we had a fantastic 3 day sailing in 15-25 knots of wind and speeding up to 10 knots. We had full moon the first day and bright moonlight during the 3 nights of sailing. It was a very pleasant and nice sailing to Niue.
Niue is now one of the world’s smallest self-governing states, and rules in free association with New Zealand. Most Niueans now live in New Zealand - about 20,000 are Nuiean or of direct Nieuan descent - while the island of Niue itself has only about 1500 population. The island is a raised atoll of rocky limestone which forms an island totally unlike that of its neighbours. Rocky seashores, gaping sea caves and the most spectacular and extensive cave system in the entire South Pacific are what characterise Niue. There are so many caves that up till the mid-1800’s most people lived in them!
The pace of life in Niue is relaxed and calm. Shops close at 16.00 and Sundays are strictly a day of rest with nothing much happening - fishing, diving and boating are not permitted on Sundays. The Niueans are proud that their island is one of the safest in the world, with crime, graffiti, drugs and pollution almost unheard of. We visited the prison: it stood empty and has not been used for many years.
The first photo: Alex and Inez love to sit in the cockpit just by the stairs being in the shade and the most stable place in the boat.
We reached Niue on the 26th of May.
We anchored outside the village of Alofi, the capital of Niue.
As we came in after 15h30, the immigration had closed for the day so we had no right to go on land. We spent the rest of the day cleaning up the boat while Alex and Inez played “Star Wars” with plus plus.
The day after was a fascinating experience. The waves being too big and smashing too hard against the pier, there is no dinghy dock in Alofi. However they have a system of lifting up the dinghy with a crane and “parking” it on a parking lot!
Once the dinghy was on the pier, we dragged it on a cart to its parking lot
Alex and Inez found this fascinating.
The immigration office was at the airport so Jörgen and Andy from "Into The Blue" got a ride with the immigration officer to the airport while Gina, Laura, Katrhine, Dearb on Into The Blue and Alex, Inez and Louise waited for the papers to be signed. We admired the beautiful view over the bay of Alofi.
Once Jörgen came back we took a walk through the town of Alofi, which was a quite quick walk and made our way to the Nuie Yacht Club being “The Biggest Little Yacht Club in the world”.
By this time now it was lunch… which we had with a fabulous view of Take Off in the bay.