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Rarotonga, Cook Islands

We stayed in Rarotonga, at what they laughingly call a harbor, for several days since we had a crew change there: John departed and Darden arrived.

Wings in a "Mediterranean Mooring" in Avatiu Harbor. It's poor holding ground, but our big Mantus anchor did the job. Note her new large Cook Island flag.

The Paradise hamburger from the Paradise Burger stand 100 feet from the boat. We ate there frequently. The Paradise very kindly allowed us to fill our water tanks with their water system, and the two boats on our port and starboard also used our system to fill their tanks.

Phil receives help from a local.

The street just beyond the harbor in Rarotonga. Motor scooters are everywhere and driven by everyone, regardless of age or gender.

This is bacterial growth in our port fuel tank. After removing five gallons of contaminated fuel by hand, I had to lean into this tank and hand-scrape all of that crap from the tank surfaces, then collect it in a bucket for disposal. It was, as always, a terrible job. When seas are calm, the sludge just sits on the tank bottom, but when it's lumpy, the sludge gets mixed into the fuel where it clogs fuel filters quickly and at inopportune times.

JB deals with his phone by headlight. This is a typical scene on a crossing when everyone is in survival mode.

Enough said. One gets what one pays for.

The Rarotonga market day brings a variety of people and items together. It's great! Yes, there are items made to sell to tourists, and a wonderful stage show of dancers and musicians, but locals show to buy local fruits, vegetables, and fish. It is held each Saturday morning starting at 0500.

Phil looks on in mock disbelief at John's huge fruit waffle. John had fantasized about the waffle for days after learning that the Waffle Shop was open at the market.

Yep, bananas are for sale, cheaply.

Mango-wood ukuleles for sale here. They have a unique tone, of course, and local music covets their contribution.

This guy, working for the uke seller, was a very talented player. They play chords and they finger pick.

John in front of a local idol. Is it (the idol) male or female?

Last year and this, this merchant created the best fresh-fruit smoothie that I've ever consumed. He'd use a machete to open coconuts for the smoothies, squeeze in bananas and other fruit, and blend each for his customers.

John bought gifts for the folks back home from this lovely local.

Young girls show their dance steps.

This is how we mounted and dismounted the "stairs" at the harbor. In our usual rough weather, it was a very challenging leap to gain the steps. Note that they slant downward, too. Wet aluminum has low friction, we can attest. John HATED these stairs!

Darden arrives!

Darden and Phil outside the harbor restroom/showers.

50 years in existence as a sovereign nation is quite an accomplishment, Cook Islands. And we think that the US is young!

Phil and Darden at Trader Jack's bar, although we also had several meals there.

Justice was not done to this tropical sunset, but you might get the idea with some imagination.

A view along the coastline of Rarotonga. Trader Jacks is tucked into the tiny bay at right.

After departing Rarotonga, Phil and Darden helm the boat.

Darden brought a guitar, of course, and played on many occasions.

Phil and Darden discuss music at Trader Jack's.

A cruise ship sits just offshore and disgorges passengers via "lighters" that arrive at the Trader Jack's dock. As you've seen here, Rarotonga has no harbors or marinas suitable for vessels, and few South Pacific islands do.



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