Wednesday, 10 September 2014

At Anchor inside the Lagoon at Penrhyn - 11th Boat to Visit this Year


The howling wind has finally died down, a load of diapers has finally dried on the lifelines, and the sun is finally shining ... what a difference a day makes!

Today was in-clearance day, which meant that we were visited on the boat by reps from three different agencies (a far cry from other countries, where folks traipse all over town to bring their paperwork to the office). Customs came to the outer anchorage, but the others wanted us to come to the village (Omoka). Since we wanted to get away from the coral bottom where there was a risk of the chain wrapping, we were happy to comply:) We were told that we are only the 11th boat to arrive this year.

With the mid-day sun high overhead, the water was all shades of blue & turquoise (and tan, where the reefs come to the surface - those are the areas to be avoided) when we entered the lagoon. We went through the pass just before low-water slack. It is clearly marked on the charts, as is a dredged channel from the pass to the village (used by the big cargo ships when they make their sporadic visits), but it was still exciting. There were no big waves, but the water churned and swirled around us (it reminded me of some of the maneuvering we had done in the Gulf Islands), and the pass was narrow with breaking waves hitting the reef on either side. This was one of those times I was glad that our engine has lots of horsepower :) We are now anchored in front of the village, on a sandy bottom (with surface-level reefs a few hundred feet away in three directions ... there is always something to keep us on our toes). The holding seems good, so hopefully everyone will sleep well tonight.

Given that it was time to take down our yellow quarantine flag today, we finished the Cook Islands courtesy flag that my mom & Victoria had started in Mexico. They made hemmed rectangles for each of thee places we might go, and we finish them on a "just in time" basis. This flag is blue, with a Union Jack in the corner and a circle of 15 white stars on the field. Victoria drew the stars with a fabric pencil, then we both painted them in acrylic paint. I used mom's 1976 sewing machine to zig zag around a mini UK flag on each side (one front-side out, the other back-side out), and I sewed loops on the corners. We still need to paint the stars on the other side, but the effect was quite good. Painting together was the kind of thing I *never* took time to do at home; it was lovely :)

Our plan is to head across to the other village tomorrow while the sun is high, so we can see the (uncharted) coral reefs that dot the lagoon. They were very clear today, so I hope we have similar weather tomorrow, then we will be there for most of our visit.

Love to all,
At 2014/09/08 5:59 PM (utc) Fluenta's position was 08°57.92'S 158°03.18'W
At 2014/09/08 5:59 PM (utc) Fluenta's position was 08°57.92'S 158°03.18'W

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