What a dual personality Niue showed us. I’ll start with the negative. After a 10 day passage including passing through a front at the end, we were exhausted. We made landfall at 3am in the open roadstead ocean anchorage that is Niue, took a mooring and sat down with a small taste of cognac preparing for a hot shower and some sleep.
But no, oh no, that was not to be. The swell was too far South and was wrapping heavily into the harbor. The harbor was well protected from the wind, calm and quiet, and it was protected from the direct swell (so safe) but the wrapping swell had us rolling from toerail to toerail. Carol and I can sleep well in all kinds of conditions in the boat on passage and both of us could not sleep, even exhausted, in these conditions. The second night, the same thing. I told Carol that if the swell wasn’t down on the third night I was sleeping in the rental car because I was desperate, after two weeks, for a night of rest. Thankfully the direction change enough SE for the next week that we were only lightly rolling. Things ranged from comfortable to bearable for the rest of our stay.
And of course, the discomfort was totally worth it. We had whales in the mooring field for most of the second half of our stay. Swimming between the boats, spraying into the air, tale flukes gracefully curving out of the water, side fins slapping, the sound of their song through our hull.
Then there were the sea snakes. We did one dive exploring the canyons in the mooring field and staring transfixed at the individual sea snakes as they lazily swam back and forth between the surface and the reef.
And then there was the trekking, the swimming associated with the trekking, the bouldering, the views.
And last but not least, we met up with old friends, with new friends and we met new people in Niue. A great small community of 5-6 boats playing in parallel. We left Carol’s moldy hat (a microbrewery in WA State, anyone recognize it?) and picked up a new Niue Yacht Club hat for him.
A short 10 day stay, but a wonderful set of memories collected.