Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pouring concrete patios on Penrhyn atoll

January 31, 2013
Anchorage position:08°57.513'S 157°55.663'W
Bottom type: 15' white sand with good holding
Te Tautua village, Penrhyn atoll, South Pacific ocean

Penrhyn is the best! The environment is pristine, the weather is great, the anchorage secure and the people super friendly. The only things that could make it better would be cheap fast internet and cheap beer, unfortunately the chances of either are less likely than the construction of an outdoor ice rink.

Yesterday, we joined the community in pouring a large concrete patio for one of the families in Te Tautua village, population around 54. All the able bodied men on the island, about 18 in all, turned out to lend a hand. Rio, who is the master carpenter and leader set the forms, a tractor delivered scoops of sand and coral gravel and the concrete was all mixed with a power mixer. From there it was wheelbarrowed to the forms where I helped screed (level the cement) and I also ended up doing 100% of the troweling. This is hard work in 90 + degree temperatures, high humidity and an unrelenting tropical sun. I honestly can't recall a time I've sweated more in just 6 hours.

After the work was done we enjoyed a huge lunch of roast pork with all the island trimmings. It's called a Kai Kai and we counted 41 villagers enjoying the lunch.

For the last six months the village population had been a meager 26 souls as the others had gone to Rarotonga. Since transportation to and from the island is so unpredictable it took nearly 6 months for them to find a ride home to Penrhyn!

Today, I hope to go fishing for Varo Lobster (Mantis Shrimp).

That's it for now.

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