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Rarotonga Messages in this topic - RSS

Posts: 47

Posts: 47
There is only one harbour on the island, Avatui. It has no facilities for yachts. On approach you call 16, harbourmaster. Don’t bother before 9am as there’s no one in the office.
You are required to use your own anchor and moor Med style to the quay wall. There are large black tyres about every 2 metres. To go ashore use your dinghy and go about 75 metres to a ladder around the corner, and it’s not that easy to get onto from a dinghy.
There is constant motion in the harbour from the prevailing SE trades, and you need a long bow line to shore to hold position when the bullets arrive. In northerly winds it is untenable.
There is a lot of dirt and dust blowing around and after 3 days the boat was filthy.
If you need any machine work done then Rarotonga Welding is excellent, and for second hand boat parts ask for Keith, about 1 kilometre from the harbour. Garbage is collected 3 days a week, there are no bins.
The island is well worth a visit, and you will get clearance to visit the other islands without all the paperwork. Saturday morning market is well worth a visit. BlueSky is the phone and internet provider, both in town and the market.
The burocracy is maddening. In theory all officials arrive close to each other. In fact the health check was at 08.30, the Customs in the afternoon and Bio Security never appeared. Harbour dues are $2.48 per foot per day, cash only in the harbour office, Customes worked out at $95 per person for a 3 day visit, they take cards in the office. Immigration is at the end of town with the Customs. Health check was $40. All in all, almost $550 for the visit.
Would I go back? Probably not.

Palmerston Island is beautiful with extraordinarily kind people. When you arrive, calling EA on 16 you are met by one of the families and helped onto your mooring, there are about 8 available. The same boat is your transport through the reef to the island. Don’t even think about doing the passage yourself. Position of the moorings is on the NW of the island, 18 02 810S,
163 11 552W.
We had to stay on board till the Bio Security and Customs checked us over, $20 fee in cash. Customs officer is the island administrator and the Bio Security is also the Mayor. We were met by Edward, the policeman. He will accept any sort of surplus boat bits you may have. Contact him on phone at Cook Islands 87265, 37616 or 37617, or email edwardjohndickmarsters@hotmail.com before you leave for the island. You will be asked to bring goods for the island.
Mooring is $10 per night and includes the transport each day, and lunch on shore in the family house.
Nothing is too much trouble, and if you’re there on Sunday then go to the 10 o’clock church service. It’s in Cook Island Maori and English. Women to wear a dress and hat, men long pants and shirt.
3 days is long enough for a visit. Edward accepts cash payment and will also put laundry through his machine for you. There is phone and internet, and you can buy access cards from BlueSky Monday to Friday until 2pm. Internet is slow and not reliable.
This is a really beautiful small island, current population is 40 plus, normally 60 plus. There is a nurse and clinic there, but no doctor.
If you’re going near, stop and visit, you will not be disappointed.

Hugh Pilsworth,
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