Blog 13 – Suwarrow Voyage – Te Ipukarea Society – Rat Baiting Programme

Blog 13 – Jun 28, 2022 – Ana Tiraa – Te Ipukarea Society – TIS
Due to the rough seas and the expectation that it will be around for the next couple of days, the decision was made to make our way to Pamati. We are not sure if we will be able to go on land when we reach Pamati as its border is closed.
I am hoping we can go on land as it will be nice to chat to Arthur Neale, the CEO for the Island Administration and Bill Masters. It will be a special moment to chat to Arthur about Suwarrow as his father lived there on three separate occasions. The book Tom wrote, An Island to oneself is famous in the yachty world. Kelvin and I have known Bill for yonks.
He used to work for the Ministry of Marine Resources in Rarotonga with Kelvin. He is now the Pamati Mayor. We arrived on Pamati before 4 pm. Sadly it was confirmed we could not go on land. We anchored outside of the reef. Here we will rest and recuperate on vaka.
We were greeted by the two people I had hoped to catch up with. They came to meet us on their aluminium boat. They greeted us with Nu, limes, unhusked coconuts, Kuru and…..drum roll…dat, dat, dat..Parrot fish.
We could only talk to them from over the vaka rail. They later returned with older coconuts for us to husk to make mona tai. This is what I love about the Pa Enua, the Aroá of giving.
Boy did we have a feast. The young fellas cleaned and scaled the fish. It was baked in the oven with veggies, lime juice and onions. This was accompanied with fresh moan tai and boiled kuru. It was nice for all of us to be on deck eating together again after the last couple of days with harrowing winds bashing our vaka.
Today was also a birthday celebration for our youngest crew member, Vavia who turned sweet 16. Alanna and Pou made a yummy birthday cake. We all sang happy birthday to Vavia on a rather flat note! One day when somebody asks Vavia what was a memorable occasion when you were 16, I hope his reply will be the day we arrived in Pamati from Suwarrow on Marumaru Atua. It was so nice to see the crew relaxed and content. We are safe. As our nation’s Vaka implies, we are under the protection of God.
Love from us x

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