We’ve been in Raro 6 days now and during that time the sun has showed itself for a total of 2 hours. It’s not been raining, just completely overcast and breezy. At night it’s in the 60’s and we go out wearing jeans, long sleeves, and Margie even sports a fleece jacket. I don’t know whether this is normal or not. One local said it’s common to have weather like this till September. Another said this is extremely unusual. Thankfully the sun is finally gracing us with its presence today. This morning it’s beautiful and clear but still cool. I hope to see the temperature creep up into the mid 80’s today!
Despite the dreary weather we’ve been having a great time here in Raro. There’s about 10 boats on the quai (pronounced “key”) right now but it seems everyday one or two leave and more come in. I find it unbelievable we’re the only ones with a scooter parked behind our boat. For $14NZ (less than $10US) per day it seems almost ridiculous not to have one. Even if you don’t have anywhere to go, the pure entertainment value of scooting around the island is worth it! The other night we were cruising along at 50 kilometers and “crack!” Part of the scooter’s plastic frame fell right off in the middle of the road. No worries, just pick it up and cram it into the storage compartment under the seat. Oh well! The only thing that could add to the fun would be a stereo system installed on “Junior” so we could rock out to the cool radio station here. One minute you’ll be jammin to the newest rap song from Ludacris or Akon and then they fade into “Cruisin” by Smokey Robinson or “River of Love” from George Straight. 101.1 FM – Raro’s Hottest Hits “If they won’t let you listen to us at work, piss in the coffee pot and quit.”
Last night we had Linda and Andy from Coromandel Quest over to the boat for dinner. I actually owed them a hot meal from a year ago when I was without cooking gas and they fed me in Ecuador. It’s still crazy to me you can run into someone you met a year and 4000+ miles ago on a tropical island in the South Pacific with no contact or planning. I looked up one day and there they come into the harbor. It just goes to show how small the community of international cruisers really is. So since I owed them a dinner I put Margie to work 🙂 whipping up some of her soon-to-be-famous salmon cakes and a green bean casserole while I hosted Linda, Andy, and Jake who, along with his wife Neely, are down from Canada on their honeymoon. We met them over at a resort on Friday and it looks like we’ll be dining with them tonight. He stopped by to say hello and got sucked into a couple of beers. I guess that means tomorrow night is now Taco night and I’ll be cooking!
It looks like a small low pressure system is forming fast and rolling through here on Wednesday. I’ve been watching it on the forecasts for the last 4 days. That won’t be fun in this harbor since it’s completely exposed to the north and they’re is calling for stiff north-north easterlies tomorrow which will turn the seas right at us. When a Low forms rapidly it can create violent little squalls. This is called a “meteorological bomb” and it’s exactly the type of thing we want to avoid at sea. The latest weekly weathergram from weather guru Bob McDavitt on Sunday confirmed my suspicions but thankfully he puts the potential “bomb” 500 miles to our south. “That Low should be taken by a jetstream quickly southeastwards and may well bomb on Wednesday near 30S 160E as its trough crosses Southern Cooks. Standby for some squalls from this passing trough.” I’ve begun studying the crossing from Fiji to New Zealand even though we’re months away. It has the potential to be downright scary if I don’t time it perfectly between the Lows shooting off Australia. Since this is now acknowledged as an El Nino year, I need to figure out it’s affect on those Lows. My worry is that it’ll put them closer together making it more difficult for us to sneak through between the gales. I guess all I can do is keep on studying and watch for those patterns!