Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 11- Kia Orana (Hello) Suwarrow!

Time: 2200 Zulu (noon Hawaii time)
Position: 13-deg 15-min S 163-deg 06-min W
Wind: ESE 12-15 Seas: ESE <1-ft
Avg. Course: 207-deg T
Avg. Speed: 5.1-knots
Rig: at anchor, Suwarrow, Northern Cook Island
24-hr distance noon to 0946: 100-nm

Confirmed arrival in Suwarrow, Northern Cook Islands on 4th of July! What an amazingly special place. The last day of our passage went by quickly. The winds never filled in quite as strongly as we had expected (18-20-knots), but the consistent 12-15 pushed us along the entire 100-nm at just the right clip. As always happens, our watch schedule fell apart a bit since the pattern of the day was different. Shawn stayed up extra hours into the night to allow Chris as much sleep as possible since he would not be getting any sleep until anchor's down, way past the end of his watch. We hove to 5-nm off the atoll at 0630 for about an hour to await light from the sun to approach any closer. We used the time to attach Rocky and eat some stick-to-your-ribs coconut banana oatmeal for energy for the final push. After witnessing a beautiful sun rise and full moon set, at 0730 we pulled the 80% back up and sailed the last several miles toward land. Half mile off shore, at our outer waypoint for the atoll's pass, we once again dropped the 80%, started Yannie, and dropped the mains'l. At 0842, slack tide according to our tide program, we started to motor through the one navigable pass into this atoll. Either the slack tide window is very small, or our tide program is a little late, or maybe it just has to do with the full moon, but the pass was already ebbing at about 2.5-knots. Yannie to the rescue, and we are extremely grateful to have had spot-on waypoints to weave us safely through several reefs into the lagoon.

Our US and Cook Islands flags flying, we motored about 2-nm to the one permitted anchorage in this "dream destination of those seeking a remote island on which to escape the clutchs of civilization." Though not an official Port of Entry into the Cook Islands, it has been made an official Cook Islands National Park, enabling brief visits by cruisers like us. There are two park rangers that live on the island 8 months of the year (not hurricane season). Having just arrived a month ago from Rarotonga, Harry and Ants showed up at our boat with paperwork before we even finished putting Tao to anchor. Chris had just gotten back aboard after snorkeling our anchor and chain, and meeting some of the smaller of the curious resident black tipped sharks! No rest for the weary, Quixotic then stopped by as they were headed out for a scuba dive, to welcome us and invite us to dinner. We took a raincheck for tomorrow to give us some time to recover. Since the rangers came to us, we didn't even get Fatty into the water or get to shore yet. It is just wonderful to to be safely on the hook again and in such a stunning place that we look forward to exploring.


  1. Yaaaaaaaaay!!!!!! :-) :-) :-)

  2. made it right on schedule. Enjoy your recovery in paradise!

  3. Yes!! Savor the special spot!! :-)