Niue here we come

On Sunday we got up and Steve went off to church. He wanted to hear the
legendary Cook Island singing, which happens in church. Susan and I were
heathens and worked hard on cleaning up the boat, doing laundry, etc.
Laundry is a chore, especially at sea with limited fresh water. Our
water maker is doing great, but we still like to be a bit conservative
with the water. So, when in port with a hose and fresh water it’s
laundry time. The whole boat was strewn with clothes and sheets from our
bunks.

The wind picked up and Honu was drifting towards the Polish boat next
door. Susan and I worked on the anchors and stern lines to pull us away
a little. It worked, but the wind was strong enough that Susan said she
didn’t want to leave the boat. Steve and I took the car and did a
roundtrip of the island. We stopped for an art gallery, a couple of
hotels, a souvenir shop and for lunch. I had fish and chips for lunch.
The fish was parrotfish. It was most delicious. The batter was crispy
and the fish mild, flaky and with a distinct wonderful flavor. I see
these big fish swimming around in Hawaii. They are very colorful and fun
to watch eating the coral. They chew at the reef taking hunks off. Out
of their gills comes some new sand. Later at the other end, other new
sand is produced. This fact always gets a giggle out of the tikes that
visit Hanauma Bay where I volunteer. These fish also change sex. If
there aren’t enough females they change. If then there are too many
females they change back. Pretty amazing.

Back at the boat we finished stowing away everything, pulled up our two
anchors with relative ease and headed out of Avatiu Harbor. We sailed
smoothly all night last night with good winds and the moon showing the
way for most of it. It’s quite a difference sailing with no moon and
with moonlight. It’s certainly a bit scarier without the moon. Early
this morning the winds died and we’re now currently motoring. The wind
that there is comes directly from where we want to go once again.

Steve is puttering with the starboard running light. They’re new and the
one isn’t working. Susan is listening to a book on tape. These are a
great way to pass the time. I’ve been through one already and started on
a second. It’s much easier than reading and doesn’t make you seasick,
which reading can. The thing about getting your sea legs is that you
have to do it every time we head back out to the open ocean. We have
very mild seas and from a good direction today, so our adjustment is
quicker.

We hope to be in Niue by Friday. We’re all excited to see this tiny
island nation. Captain Cook never landed here in his three trips around
the Pacific Ocean. He named it Savage Island because the natives ran off
his boarding parties. Cook reported that they came running out throwing
things and had blood red teeth. He assumed it was from cannibalism. It
wasn’t. There was a red colored banana that the natives ate. They were
very wary of outsiders though and did try to keep them away. Even the
missionaries took way longer to infiltrate Niue compared to the rest of
Polynesia. More Niueans live in New Zealand than in Niue. In 2001 there
were 1,700 in Niue and 12,000 in New Zealand. There aren’t a lot of
economic opportunities in Niue. The cruising guides tell us that this
little nation is filled with the most friendly people we will encounter
in the Pacific. We’ll let you know.