The supply situation on remote islands is tricky. In the days before supply ships the Polynesians managed to live off the land, but nowadays everybody depends on imported goods. The supply ship from Rarotonga comes by every 2 or 3 months, another ships brings ordered things from Hawaii about twice a year. You’d think that people would try to be as self-sufficient as possible under… Continue reading »



The main village Omoka lies on the western side of the atoll, so the anchorage is exposed to the prevailing easterly winds. When we visited Omoka last week Pitufa was pitching horribly in steep high waves and we hardly got any sleep. We therefore fled the next morning to a more protected place. Now we’re anchored on a beautiful, light-turquoise sandy shelf in just 3… Continue reading »


Polynesian Hospitality

On the 4th of August the Cook Islands celebrate their Consitution day followed by a week of cultural festivals. Every 2 to 3 years the government provides free transport by ship to all people from outer islands to Rarotonga (the capital) to participate in the celebrations. Today 130 people from Tongareva returned after more than a month down in Rarotonga. After some fabulous day in… Continue reading »


Nature paradise Penrhyn

By now we’ve established our usual routine for remote places: a nice balance between work and play… For the past few days we’ve spent the mornings restitching and reinforcing our dinghy cover and in the afternoons we explored the motus on the eastern side. Yesterday we took Pitufa a few miles further south through the lagoon. While the central lagoon is deep (50m) with plenty,… Continue reading »



On the weekend we visited the little village Tetautua and attended the church there. The Cook’s are famous for their choirs, but at the moment there are only 15 villagers here. What they lacked in numbers, they made up in volume Now we’re anchored a few miles further south, where we’ve already found bird motus with lots of nesting Tropic Birds and Noddies. These colonies… Continue reading »


Unspoiled nature



We’ve started to get our bearings here in Tongareva. It’s a big atoll (11 miles long, 6 miles wide) with three passes into a deep lagoon with many coral heads, but no islands within the lagoon. It has quite some land with motus stretching along the northern, eastern and western sides of the atoll, but only 2 settlements. The main village Omoka lies on the… Continue reading »


Arrived in Tongareva

We arrived at the W-pass of Tongareva (Cook Islands, also known as Penrhyn) at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, went in without a prob with 1.5 knots of ingoing current against 12 knots of wind and some small standing waves in the very short pass. We anchored off the main village Omoka, the officials came by an hour later and cleared us in quickly. Now… Continue reading »


Comfy Sailing

Leeloo didn’t like Car o line much as she despises rolly anchorages and ignored all our efforts to get her interested in the boobies that were flapping all around the boat and sitting on the railing ogling her. A cat distinguishes 3 categories of animals: Can-be-eaten (go, catch!), can-eat-me (run, hide) and to-be-ignored (everything that doesn’t fall into the first two categories). She pretended the… Continue reading »



Yesterday the wind got less and less and we took the opportunity to try out our newly bought gennaker (asymmetrical lightwind sail) for the fist time. We got a real bargain from Hongkong Sails (just 1.700 Euros incl. delivery to French Poly, ready within 2 weeks, delivered in 4 days to Tahiti!) and the sail itself looks nice, but the sock (the long tube in… Continue reading »



Today at noon we reached Vostok, another uninhabited island of the Southern Line Island group. Vostok lies 5 nm ENE from the position that is shown on the charts–but we knew that from satellite pictures beforehand. It’s tiny, just half a mile wide and roughly triangular-shaped. It’s a beautiful island with a white beach all around and high Pisonia trees growing inland (it doesn’t have… Continue reading »


Boobie alarm

Getting our anchors up was easier than expected. Now we’re sailing goose-winged downwind in 15 kn from the East. Our friends the brown boobies have been following us, which was of course very nice of them, but made fishing almost impossible. First we didn’t dare to put a lure out, but after 20 nm we thought they had left. Each time we tried fishing again,… Continue reading »


Difficult paradise

This morning we are getting ready to leave Car o line Atoll. As hobby-ornithologists we enjoyed our stay here immensely–there are not many places left in the Pacific where such big colonies are still nesting. As going ashore is impossible unless the sea’s completely calm we didn’t spend as much time on the motus as we would have liked to, but of course the snorkeling… Continue reading »


Underwater world

Whenever the sea’s not completely calm going ashore is out of question here, so we’ve concentrated on the underwater world for the past few days. The reef looks different from what we’re used to: In the shallow water the coral’s mainly dead (apart from some baby staghorn giving it another try), but between 5 and 10 m and in some places down into the drop-off… Continue reading »


A wreck inside the lagoon

From our anchorage we saw something that looked like a boat far down south inside the lagoon. First we thought it was just some optical illusion with maybe a palmtree and a bush behind it, but with the binoculars it became clear that there was really some kind of boat, but how was that possible with no pass into the lagoon? Was is a wreck… Continue reading »