We have had a great time visiting Rarotonga. Lots of beautiful places to see, and the inexpensive scooter transportation has been liberating. We traveled many miles around the roads and had a wonderful time on the back roads through rolling hills of farms and seeing secluded houses amidst the tropical vegetation. Check out the photo album below and read more below about what has been going on and our plans:
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On Saturday several boats arrived. First two cruising sailboats: “Iles de Grace” (which we first met in Manihi) and “Liberty”. We helped both get tied up in the harbor. Then a short while later a tall ship called “Picton Castle” with a crew of about 60 arrived under full sail. They had traditional square rigged sails and there were people in the rigging putting it away as they arrived.
Also on Saturday was the market next to the harbor. It was more like a county fair than a market. There were plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (which helped fill our provisions), but also all kinds of souvenir booths, and many kinds of foods.
We had a final special dinner with Jason and Lara on board. We grilled up some steaks and corn, baked beans, salad, and french bread. And had wine to drink. Jason and Lara have been part of the Tahina family since March. They have been great crew and have enhanced our experiences in many ways since we left Panama. It’s actually going to be difficult I think at first to adapt back to just sailing with the two of us. And, we will miss them in many ways beyond just the sailing elements. We wish them well as they attempt to temporarily settle in New Zealand in the coming months. They are leaving some of their gear on board and we will link up with them when we arrive in New Zealand in November. Jason may even fly up to Tonga to help us with the sometimes challenging passage down to New Zealand.
On Friday we cleared out of the Cook Islands planning to leave on Sunday. We are hoping some stronger winds will develop along our route than what has been forecasted for Monday and Tuesday. Otherwise we may be motoring some towards Niue – 600 nautical miles away. If we leave on Sunday we should be there by Thursday.