Category Archives: Cook Islands

Pictures from Te Tautua and Broken Palm Island, Penrhyn

Unbelievable! We caught an internet signal a mile away from the village out at our secluded Broken Palm Island! The internet has been down for a week but the supply ship came in yesterday and they fixed the wifi. As a result, here are some pics of the past week:

Anchored off Te Tautua village
Anchored off Te Tautua village
Waterfront in the village
Waterfront in the village
Asian feast with Ruby from DRINA
Asian feast with Ruby from DRINA
Ahhh...that's more like it. I just remembered why we cross oceans ;-)
Ahhh…that’s more like it. I just remembered why we cross oceans ;-)
Mermaid green thumb hard at work
Mermaid green thumb hard at work
The school in Te Tautua. Grades 1-10 in one room....
The school in Te Tautua. Grades 1-10 in one room….
Romanda and Rose Lilly, the Chiefs' daughters. He actually inquired if Alyssa and I were married....he is looking for a husband for Romanda (right).  Alyssa protested again of course
Romanda and Rose Lily, the Chiefs’ daughters. He actually inquired if Alyssa and I were married….he is looking for a husband for Rose Lily (right). Alyssa protested again of course
Baseball with the kids
Baseball with the kids
Lettuce...on an atoll?!
Lettuce…on an atoll?!
Alyssa's garden
Alyssa’s garden
My two loves in one kayak
My two loves in one kayak
Sailing the hobie kayak  and loving life
Sailing the hobie kayak and loving life
Ellie swinging peacefully behind Broken Palm Island
Ellie swinging peacefully behind Broken Palm Island
I'm so spoiled with Alyssa's cooking. Last night we had fried salmon cakes with sprouts and a spicy teriyaki glaze over sweet brown rice
I’m so spoiled with Alyssa’s cooking. Last night we had fried salmon cakes with sprouts and a spicy teriyaki glaze over sweet brown rice
Hooked a shark but he bit me off
Hooked a shark but he bit me off
I cooked an actual meal! The Mermaid was very impressed
I cooked an actual meal! The Mermaid was very impressed
Heading off on an adventure. Broken Palm  Island left background
Heading off on an adventure. Broken Palm Island left background
Exploring the reef
Exploring the reef
Filleting a parrot fish
Filleting a parrot fish
Mermaid hammock time. Be sure that book is estrogen-packed!
Mermaid hammock time. Be sure that book is estrogen-packed!
Kayak exploration in a postcard
Kayak exploration in a postcard

 

Internet?!?! Here?!?! Yup – Here are some pics!!

Unbelievably, this tiny village of 50 people, on a small atoll 800 miles away from what we would call “civilization” has reasonable internet service. I am typing these words from the nav table at anchor! You have to love technology sometimes… I bet a thank you is also in order for the Cook Islands Protectorate, New Zealand. Thanks Kiwi’s! 

And without further ado…pictures!!

DCIM252GOPRO
The Beautiful Mermaid on the Bow in Honolua Bay, Maui, Hawaii
DCIM252GOPRO
Just a friendly turtle in Honolua Bay…
DCIM252GOPRO
The Intrepid Crew Under Way for Fanning Island
DCIM252GOPRO
The first day and a half out was glorious
DSCN0237
WAHOO!!!
DSCN0243
The sexy Mermaid filleted it up!
DCIM252GOPRO
Then conditions deteriorated. Luckily we have a tough salty woman aboard who has the patience to get the monitor set!
DCIM252GOPRO
She also whips up some mean deviled eggs. I washed those bad boys down with a draft amber ale. For a minute we almost forgot how rough and uncomfortable the conditions had gotten…
DCIM252GOPRO
Naked sailing…in a squall
DCIM252GOPRO
Go away squalls!
DCIM252GOPRO
The 40 knot welcoming party that greeted us upon arrival to Fanning. Look at the angle of the mast on the Island Packet (left). The waves were about 4 feet in the anchorage. It was intense.
DSCN0271
The next day we cleared customs and immigration. They were thrilled to have ice and were pleasantly confused by the jalepeno artichoke dip and tortilla chips.

DSCN0273 DSCN0279

DCIM252GOPRO
The town pier in Fanning. Levi from SHOSTROM doing a headstand.
DSCN0295
The main road in Fanning Island… The large building is the town meeting hall
DSCN0296
Dinner….trying to escape
DSCN0317
Ruby was teaching Yoga to the locals. Alyssa second from the left…
DSCN0325
Jenny (sv Levana) brought balloons for the kids, which were a hit!
DSCN0366
Bruno built a small hut for each of his children; this one for Agnes
DCIM252GOPRO
The dining table at Bruno’s house. Huge globe over the table. He WAS a sailor you know…
DCIM252GOPRO
The home he built. Each stone was taken from the windward side of the reef. He did an amazing job.
DSCN0351
The interior of Bruno’s home (upstairs). He re-purposed his boat in many creative ways.
DSCN0383
Lyss and Ruby toasting their Kava bowls. Tastes like dirt and makes you tired, but apparently the locals are hooked
DCIM252GOPRO
Ellie resting at anchor on a calm day in Fanning
DSCN0378
The locals still get around in traditional sailing craft. Although this guy somehow acquired a few plastic hulls. I bet he would win the island regatta…if they ever had one.
DCIM252GOPRO
Going out to drift the pass at Fanning
DCIM252GOPRO
Fanning as seen from seaward
DCIM252GOPRO
Life enhanced by Maui Jim (a future sponsor maybe??)
DCIM252GOPRO
Lyss with her new BFF girlfriend, Ruby, from s/v DRINA
DCIM252GOPRO
An ecstatic Ruby on our evening booze cruises. Sunken tug boat in the background.
DCIM252GOPRO
This sunken tug has been here a while. I never got the full story…
DCIM252GOPRO
This is the shot I’ll send Maui Jim with our sponsorship request…
DCIM252GOPRO
Kiribati sailing canoe. Can you spot the LED lawn light I gave them? Now they can legally operate in US waters….OK probably not.
DCIM252GOPRO
Ruby gifting one of the lights to a friendly local I-Kiribati man
DCIM252GOPRO
The man’s humble home. See where he put the light?
DCIM252GOPRO
The Kiribati Culligan Man… Drinking from wells such as this one is why so many of them are sick.
DCIM252GOPRO
The inside of a typical humble I-Kiribati dwelling. The woman on the right – the man from the earlier picture’s wife – is pregnant and sick. The kids were very shy and cute. The whole family sleeps in here.
DCIM252GOPRO
Another family we gifted lights to.
DCIM252GOPRO
Under way for Penrhyn. Sunset alert!
DCIM252GOPRO
Another shot for our future sponsors: Maui Jim

DCIM252GOPRO

DCIM252GOPRO
Another amazing meal of Wahoo
DCIM252GOPRO
Does she look ecstatic to be inside the lagoon at Penrhyn or what?

DCIM252GOPRO

DSCN0394
The ladies all dressed up outside the church. Alyssa second from the left. The hats are required attire…
DSCN0399
The Reverend and his wife, Mama Tata, invited all the yachties to an after church feast of tuna, lobster, chicken and rice



Anchored Safely in Penrhyn…After 48 hours of Excitement

We are finally anchored on the windward side of Penrhyn after 48 hours of pure excitement.

Since making landfall we have:

- Battled the current and breakers to enter the pass [Pucker Factor (PF): medium to high]
- Picked our way through a minefield of coral heads [PF: medium]
- Dropped anchor on a lee shore to clear in [PF: medium]
- Just after lowering the anchor our transmission seized up and shut the engine down [PF: high]
- Started dragging towards shore across a coral pan bottom with dubious holding [PF: off the scales high – DEFCON 5 – lucky shorts were not soiled]
- Threw out another anchor which luckily caught and held us off the rocks [PF: high but decreasing]
- Were boarded by customs officials right after the transmission fiasco
- Tried our best to wipe the look of sheer terror off our faces and try our best to avoid looking like we have illegal drugs hidden in our rectums
- Completed formalities while being surrounded by the contents of our storage lockers (that were emptied frantically in a desperate attempt to get the transmission out of reverse so I could start the engine)
- Was extremely embarrassed after proudly presenting the customs officials with our Cook Islands courtesy flag, only to be told that was not the flag of this country…turns out it was for Tuvalu…total jackass move
- Were greeted by friends from the two other boats here: DRINA and SHOSTROM
- Served said friends pints of our homebrew to celebrate our arrival and stellar boat-saving tactics
- Accepted that we will probably be in Penrhyn for a month or two waiting for a new transmission
- Assessed the broken transmission while drinking beer with Michael on DRINA
- Somehow the transmission decided to throw us a bone and miraculously start working
- Gave Michael all credit for fixing the transmission even though we both knew he didn’t do anything but stare at it and move the lever about 30 times. Poured him another pint anyway.
- Decided not to ask too many questions and just be happy we have a functioning engine again
- Went into the village to watch a dance performance and listen to the men and women sing a harmony in Cook Island Maori that blew us away
- Were impressed by the local legend of the two boys that caught the turtle but didn’t bring it to the Chief, who was then pissed and came to kill the boys but was resisted by the whole village and killed, leading to a long history of not having a Chief on the island
- Spent a rough night trying to sleep while being bounced around by the wind waves
- Identified the Kiwi feathering prop as the culprit for the seizure (reverse function seized)
- Spent 10 minutes cursing aforementioned Kiwi prop and blaming the Kiwi’s for our troubles
- Realized cursing broken prop and placing blame was not productive
- Decided to change the transmission oil, plan to not use reverse, and hope for the best
- Realized we don’t have transmission fluid – I mistakenly gave it away in Hawaii thinking it was extra. It’s probably still sitting on the shelf in the laundry room.
- DRINA saved the day and brought us some of his extra transmission fluid and also sold us 15 gallons of fuel
- Changed transmission fluid and put the fuel in the main tank
- Made DRINA breakfast to thank them
- Watched the Mermaid pull both anchors up like a champ in front of a big crowd of onlookers from the 100ft schooner SHOSTROM and now she is a local hero amongst the yachties
- Picked our way 7 miles to windward across the beautiful but dangerous coral-studded lagoon
- Tried our best not to hit the numerous turtles lazily floating in the lagoon
- Dropped anchor in 20 feet of turquoise water over fine white sand behind Te Tautua, a small village of 50 people
- Dove on the prop to see what the hell is going on, while keeping an eye on the half dozen sharks swimming around Ellie
- Found out the prop is seized up and wont twist into reverse, which must have caused the transmission to lock up on us
- Decided to wait a day or two before starting on the prop and the long list of boat projects
- Watched an amazing sunset over the lagoon and took in our incredible post card setting
- Slept like rocks in flat, calm water, while listening to the trades pumping and waves punishing the shore on the other side of the motu
- Alyssa headed off to the village church service this morning with the other cruising women to investigate the local religious fanaticism and reputed beautiful fancy hats

That brings us up-to-date. It has been a very hectic couple of days and an exhausting few weeks to get down here from Hawaii. We plan to spend the next few weeks decompressing, allowing our blood pressure to settle back down to normal and start chipping away at the two-page list of boat projects. Poor Ellie has been taking a bit of a beating lately and she is in need of some TLC. We’ll start once we are rested up. Also, the officials here strictly forbid any work or exercise on Sunday, I wouldn’t dare violate their rules. Guess I’ll have to dig out the hammock.

Manuia from Tongareva,
Lewis & Alyssa

May 24, 2015
Te Tautua, Tongareva (Penrhyn), Cook Islands

Anchored:
08 57.425 S
157 55.775 W