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Bora Bora to Suwarrow August 25 - 29, 2006 by Bart
Day 1, August 25 2006
We leave Bora Bora with a very light wind. But the grip files show there will be wind the next couple of days, so we motor out and set sail. For half a day we float/sail with 1-2 knots in the right direction. We shoot a few more shots from the island and then we are in 'crossing mode' again. Read, write, eat, watch and sleep....
The next 3 days are squally, rainy and very windy which makes it a fast crossing but also a very bumpy and wet one. But on the 4 day at sunrise Suwarrow is on the horizon and so is the sun.
Suwarrow, August 30/31 2006 by Dagmar
On the way from Bora Bora to Samoa we decided to stop for one night at the Suwarrow Atoll. It belongs to the northern Cook Islands and has been declared a national park, the only one in the Cook Islands. Its best known thru the New Zealander Tom Neale, who lived here on and off from 1952 till his death in 1977, like Robinson Crusoe and wrote a book about his experience "An island to oneself". Still the leftovers of his small house are left on the main island. Only in-between the month of May till November this island is inhabited by a caretaker couple, John and Veronica with their 4 boys. Because of the national park status of the atoll, they are working for the Environmental Department of the Cook Islands in Rarotonga. They are a very lovingly and friendly family, happy about every food supply from our boat we can do without. We can give them rice, juice, soup, cereal, flour, sugar, some sweets for the kids, a piece of cheese... In May they are coming with a cargo ship to Suwarrow with all their supplies for the whole six month, not able to order more. Right now John said, about 50% of his food supply are coming from the boats anchoring in the lagoon. We just want to stay for one night, leaving the following afternoon for Samoa, therefore the family invites us to go by dinghy the next morning with them to " bird island", a drive of 20min.
The island is inhabited by a huge colony of frigate birds. Right now they are nesting. We see a young one hatching out of the egg, fluffy baby birds, Boobies, Tropic Birds. They are not afraid of us, looking curious, what we are doing on their island. Then in the water close to shore a camouflaged octopus, eels and crabs. The boys are fishing.
After we returned, we went for snorkeling close to the reef. For us, that was the clearest water we have ever seen, a beautiful untouched reef, with colorful fish, gray-, black-, and white-tip sharks, a manta ray, Bart has even seen a turtle swam by.
Suwarrow to Samoa, August 31 - September 4 2006 by Dagmar
The trip from Bora Bora to Suwarrow was no fun at all, lots of rain, strong changing winds, but it could be worse. The first night was quiet, we could sleep well, in between the watches, clear sky with lots of stars... But that changed quickly. The next morning dark clouds were surrounding us. It poured rain the whole day, letting us become aware of some leaks we have in the deck. Lots of wind, 35-40 knots, high seas, the wind changing very often its direction... , changing sails, bigger, ..smaller, derigging, motoring...and I learned a lot of new Dutch swearwords...never seen Bart so pissed off in months... At 11pm the wind stops, forcing us to motor until 7am the next morning. We hoped to be thru the front, but still lots of rain, high waves, pouring rain... Bart and I didn't sleep at all the last night, so we tried to catch up with sleep during the day. But LUNA's roller coaster ride still continued and we had rain on and off and turning winds until we entered the harbor of Apia in Wstern Samoa.
Apia, Western Samoa, September 4 2006
When we entered the harbor, we heard music, saw people lining up on the main street, men wearing colorful "lava-lava", (pareos/sarongs), women knee-length skirts. We are just in time for a flower- and dance festival, that will last the whole week. Even the two guys from the quarantine department checking our boat are wearing lava-lavas. Our friends Sandy and Joan from the 'Zeferin" are in the bay, too.
Last modified: September 02, 2008