Sunday, May 15, 2011

Arrival in Suwarrow, Cook Islands

We've arrived in Suwarrow!! Without any wind, we decided to run the motor for 8 hours overnight, putting us just 20 milles from Suwarrow atoll at day break. How wonderful to be so close to land again! At 9 am, the radio sparkled to life, and we heard Bernie's familiar voice asking us how far away we were. At noon, as we approached the pass, we were thrilled when Bernie and Yvonne came out in their dinghy to greet us and guide us in.

Bernie and Yvonne dinghy out to the pass to meet us at Suwarrow
We felt truly welcome, as Eric was running down the beach alongside us snapping pictures of our entrance. Both boats have put off their departures, in order to wait for us to arrive. We were absolutely thrilled to see them!

As soon as we dropped the hook, everyone clammored aboard Renova for welcoming cocktails. What a treat it was to share stories of the past weeks' crazy weather, and hear of the great fishing and birding they've been enjoying. They have already planned a beachside feast of coconut crabs for the evening, followed by fish soup for dinner aboard Australia 31. What a treat after a long passage!!

An afternoon picnic of coconut crab and cocktails

Without much delay, John and Eric were in the water with their spearguns, and I was getting the boat ready to be home again. Moving all our gear from the v-berth up front back to its usual hiding places, and setting up the settees to be couches again, instead of our sea berths. After only a couple hours, we knew we would like it here!

Interestingly, Eric has now been here almost a month, and has seen very few other yachts. 3 other boats in that whole time, besides us and Australia 31.

And...later in the afternoon, two other boats made their way into the pass. So here we are - 5 boats in total. Canada, USA, Australia, Italy and France. Wonderful. The Italians weren't up to a shared dinner last night, but the single-handed french sailor, Gigi, joined us. He didn't speak much english, but his french was good. Eric and I have some french (Eric more than me), but Bernie, Yvonne and John didn't speak french. But, Bernie and Yvonne had some spanish, and Gigi had some portugese, so we were a melting pot of languages throughout the evening, enjoying a wonderful fish stew!

Already, it's been a fabulous landfall. And there are more stories to come! We'll save that for a future post. But for now, know that we've arrived safely!

Our position is:
13° 14.94S
163° 06.52W

For those of you interested, here are a few stats:
Total distance: 580 nm (nautical miles - I know, it's been a while)
Distance actually travelled: 602 nm
Time: 121 hours - just over 5 days
Average Speed: 5 knots
Motored: 13 hours
Boats seen: 0
Fish caught: 0


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