Yesterday we successfully picked up Paul from New Zealand at the airport here in Ha’apai. As was mentioned in the last post, Paul will be staying with us to help crew the passage to New Zealand.
It was a crazy morning before we picked up Paul. First, I spent time going ashore to get on the Internet – it had been several days since we were last connected. So, I went to the Mariner’s Cafe in town. Checking the weather I discovered we have strong easterly winds forecasted (20-25 knots) for the next 7 days. This will impact how easy we are able to cruise the rest of the Ha’apai islands, and when we will depart for New Zealand.
As I was preparing to leave the cafe, someone called on the radio asking for a dinghy ride (they only had a row boat and the winds were too strong). I offered to pick them up. On the way to the dock I ran into the two Googlers I had met at the resort a few days ago and offered to take them out for a tour on Tahina. I dropped them off and let Karen entertain them while I went to pick up the stranded boaters and took them ashore – for which they were very grateful. Then I went back to take the Googlers back to shore because they had to meet some folks at the cafe for lunch. Meanwhile I went back to the boat and we finished cleaning things up. Paul’s flight arrived in the early afternoon, so we went ashore. We couldn’t find a taxi, so we went back to the cafe to have them call one. But, the folks from the resort offered to give us a ride in their truck because they were going to the airport anyway.
Paul arrived and was obviously very excited to arrive at the islands. But, he was not expecting a greeting from 8 people! In our rush to pick him up, Karen and I hadn’t eaten. Fortunately, Paul had not had lunch either. So, we went back to the cafe and had a nice lunch and got to know each other a bit better. Paul had a surprise for me – he brought me some Chips Ahoy cookies and M&Ms! He had been in touch with our previous crew and found out what my favorite foods are…
We then took Paul and his luggage back to the boat. The afternoon evening was spent giving Paul a tour of the boat and discussing what we would be doing for the next few days.