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Rarotonga Update

By Kate “Bob” Addison

We’ve been busy unloading the hold ready to take cargo to the outer Cooks. Second mate and handy carpenter Sam built a new platform to help keep the cargo better organised and make more usable space – the hold looks huge when it’s all empty. Now the crew are loading lumber and totes of food back in again.

Meanwhile over at a warehouse on the wharf, chief mate Michael is accepting, organising and measuring cargo with a team of helpers. We’re accepting all kinds of cargo, bags of rice to freezers full of frozen food, and of course adding names of passengers to the list. Our route for the next few weeks will be somewhat determined by where the cargo is bound for – so far we have lots of cargo for Aitutaki and Palmerston Atoll.

The outdoor market on Saturday right nearby the ship was lovely and we bought lots of fresh fruit and veggies. There were drummers and dancers, cold nu (young coconuts) to slurp from and lots of wood carvings, shell jewellery and colourful pareaus. Our sailing time is set for 1pm on Saturday so we’ll have time to go to the market once more before we sail and stock up for the next passage.

The off watch have been taking Sea Never Dry, our Lunenburg-built dory, out for day sails, round to Trader Jacks, or anchoring off the reef to do some snorkelling before sailing back. Some people have rented cars or scooters, or taken one of the dozen or so bikes from the ship to tour around the island.

Church on Sunday was very lovely, and we were all invited in for tea and sandwiches after to meet the locals and other tourist types. We had the local Sea Scouts aboard yesterday, and the children from the Avarua Catholic School are coming at lunchtime today to visit the ship. We’re having a dinner for all of the Palmerston people here in Raro tonight – there seem to be dozens of Marsters here, so I’m looking forward to matching names to faces.

The pictures in pareaus are from a workshop/fashion show/marlinspike we had just before Aitutaki to make sure people knew how to dress properly before we got to the Cooks!

Dancing at the Saturday market Rarotonga
Dawson at the Pareau fashion show
Nadja helps unload the cargo hold
Niko guiding the blank spar onto the dock
Pareau fashion show (1)
Pareau fashion show (7)
Sailing Sea Never Dry to Trader Jacks
Vaka training

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