Rollin on the Rock – Niue Style

by Drew on August 16, 2009

The mooring field here in Niue has turned rolly. The swell is coming around the northern point and we’ve been miserably rolling all around as monohulls do when they sit side to the seas. It’s uncomfortable but livable. We enjoy getting off the boat whenever possible but, of course, without a dinghy, we’re at the disposal of others. It’s not been a huge problem though. After a great dinner aboard Follow You, Follow Me with Allan and Rina the other night they offered up their dinghy as a loaner while they took a night in one of the local hotels. It was super nice of them and gave us a chance to get some shopping done without the worry of overloading some poor guy who offered us a ride but didn’t really have the space! We spent a good bit of time the last two days on the internet posting pics on the blog, figuring out what’s going on in the world, and studying New Zealand in hopes of finalizing a place to stay. I also filled the propane tank. I say I filled it cause this time I actually did. I’m mentioned the problems I’ve had finding places to fill my “California special danger tank” since we left the states. So far no problems in Jamaica, Panama, and Tahiti but in Ecuador there was no place in the county to have it filled so I had a small adapter made to gravity fill the tank. So I spent a couple of hours Wednesday standing in the backyard of a hardware store figuring out how to gravity fill an empty propane tank from a full one without blowing myself up. Now that I know the secret, it’s freaking easy!

Niue is an interesting place. There are abandoned houses everywhere. Much of the population up and moved to New Zealand so there’s barely a 1000 people left on the island. In 2004 a cyclone devastated the northern, western, and southern sides. Ninety foot high waves washed over the island taking houses and all the vegetation with it. Somehow only two lives were lost. A lot of Niueans decided at that point to give up and leave. Rebuilding was just too hard. The people still seem happy and everyone is ridiculously friendly but in my mind there’s an underlying feeling that something is missing. It’s like that storm took away a large part of the island’s spirit. It’s such a unique place I hope to see it grow again. It’ll be interesting to watch its progress and stop back through here next time we sail this part of the world.

We had a potluck gathering at the yacht club on Thursday. Margie made her super dip which is always a huge hit and disappears faster than anything else. Tim and Ruth on Victory Cat had tons of Spear Fish and Wahoo they grilled up. Someone made a birthday cake and even though I sang, I couldn’t tell you who’s birthday it was. I always love having Margie along on the gatherings. She doesn’t know a lot about boats or sailing but she’s such a conversational powerhouse, she steers discussions right away from broken watermakers and low pressure systems to family left behind, boat fashion, and Hollywood gossip. She’ll bring even the hardiest of sailor down into a discussion of why she’s a better match for Tom Brady than Giselle.

With the loss of the dinghy and the unknown amount of money it’ll cost, we are looking into ways of saving money in the next few months. I think we’ll end up storing Dosia on some sort of a mooring in NZ while we travel home for the holidays. It’s up to $200 cheaper than a dock slip although it’s hours farther from the airport. It seems I made the mistake of buying a nonrefundable plane ticket or I, myself, would be staying in NZ for the holidays. Candidly, I’m still thinking of skipping the trip since it’s not necessarily the ticket cost but the cost of living during that month at home that kills me. Guess we’ll see how that one works out. We are, however, in negotiations on a dinghy and could have a possible replacement lined up. Fingers crossed.

Well, today’s biking excursion appears to be canceled by the grey and raining skies. Maybe tomorrow. We plan to leave on Tuesday for Tonga since the sail westward is only 240 miles but takes 3 days since we cross the international date line and skip an entire day! From that point on, we will be one day ahead of everyone back in the states instead of hours behind! Seth and Elizabeth’s joint birthday bash on Honeymoon is this Saturday and we wouldn’t miss it for the world! Plus our friends on Zen, Karma, and Flashback should all be arriving there soon.

Stay tuned for some interesting blog posts concerning the future of this trip and our plans. Wallets are emptying, clocks are ticking, and things are starting to take shape for a potential end and/or long hiatus in our journey. I wish it could last forever but alas, all good things… know the rest.

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