Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 1 Te Tautua or Motutapu, Penrhyn atoll, Cooks Islands, South Pacific Ocean

January 29, 2013
Anchorage position: 08°57.5135'S 157°55.6638'W
Te Tautua village or Motutapu, Penrhyn atoll, Cooks Islands, South Pacific Ocean

It's great to be back at Penrhyn atoll and especially to Te Tautua village. This is a place where the villagers will launch a boat to greet you in the anchorage. Maybe 5-10 yachts visit Penryhyn each year and visitors are given a warm and authentic Polynesian welcome.

We spent a few hours visiting with a good group of guys, gals and children at Rio's waterfront home. We talked about the trading vessel s/v Kawi based out of Hawaii that services the Cooks and Kirbati and the high price of goods in the Cooks and how they wouldn't see the s/v Kawai again until June or July. And how nearly half the village was stranded in Rarotonga 800nm to the South for 6 months due to the lack of any ships going that way. Finally, the s/v Kawi making the rounds gave them a ride. All the while, just a feet away, ten 10 kids frolicked in the water for hours, as medium sized Black tip reef sharks and pretty big Nurse sharks swam amongst the kids like pet dogs.

While hanging out at Rio's house we all enjoyed photos from my 2006 visit. One of the photos from my last visit has become a tee shirt logo with the text MotuTapu, which loosely translates to 'sacred island'. It's a cool photo of the Te Tautua village that I took from the top of my old Beneteau First 405 s/v La Vie.

Rio's place looks great. He extended out 20' into the lagoon and has a nice new sea wall. He wants me to take another photo of the village from the top of my mast so we can compare old vs new. Apparently, these guys have been busy with lots of projects.

Tomorrow, I'll be helping pour cement for a new porch and next week we might be working on sea walls for some of the other lagoon front homes.

That's it for now.

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