23/05/2014 –From one sailing club to another!

A year ago today, Friday, we cast off from our home club, Hardway Sailing Club, to head westwards. Since then most of our travels have been in the right direction except a detour into the Mediterranean for a couple of months and our Panama Canal transit which heads from northwest to southeast. Yesterday we arrived in Niue, 12 hours behind British Summer Time but not quite half way around the world. Our arrival was well timed, before the immigration team stopped working for the day, and we went ashore to clear customs and immigration. Getting ashore can be rather fraught but fortunately the seas were relatively flat. There is no pontoon, jetty or beach where you can leave the RIB in the water and all are lifted ashore onto the quay. I scrambled up one set of steps, then John positioned the dinghy under the crane next to the second set of steps which were awash. I lowered the hook, John connected it then scrambled out of the dinghy, I raised the hook and lifted the dinghy up, John swung it onto the wharf. We then lifted it on to a flat-bed trolley and moved it to a suitable ‘parking’ spot where we slid it off the trolley. The crane is electric, fortunately, and we were helped this time by Paul though we have subsequently done it with no help. The formal paperwork was done in an open sided building with the remnants of a thatched roof, right beside the wharf. Two other boats cleared in with us, then Paul gave us a conducted tour of the highlights of Alofi. We stopped at the Niue Yacht Club, a club with a small local membership, an expanding overseas membership, no yachts but a very welcoming couple and cold beers and a big book exchange. We have now paid our membership fees, bought a burgee and are members of Niue Yacht Club. The evening barbecue was excellent but we were rather tired so made our way back to the boat fairly early. Today we did some shopping, booked a car for tomorrow, went to a reception at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s house then back into Alofi for a Fia Fia. The Fia Fia is an evening of national songs and dance and local food. It was very good. That is now two days running that I haven’t had to cook dinner! Wonderful. I did, however, make a New England (white) clam chowder for lunch yesterday as I had half a tin of clams and half a tin of sliced mushrooms in the fridge which needed eating. Joyce

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