Monday, 18 June 2012

A Storm took me from Raro

After our trip to Aititaki, we returned to Rarotonga to complete the end of our voyage.  As we waited to get back on the wharf, we saw the wakas (which were making their way to Samoa) leave the island. I was amazed at how small these vessels were and that they had taken their crew so far.

Once back alongside, it was only a day or two before two member of voyage crew left, which after a month together was a strange affair.
The next day I had half a day away from the ship. Having a couple of drinks at Trader Jacks, a bar looking out to sea, we found a picture of interest. Among the other sailing mementos and photos of visiting ships, was a beautiful illustration of the Soren Larsen.

Between getting the ship ready for its next voyage, we rested up, becoming familiar with some of the ships board games, notably cranium and articulate. it was going so well, in the time we had we could work at a good pace. But then the weather reports came in. A storm was coming. A big one. and with it gales would come from the sea. If the Soren Larsen stayed where she was, the timber ship would be smashed to pieces on the concrete wharf.  The call was made to take her out to sea. With half the crew on leave and no way of contacting them, we wondered if they would turn up before we had to get out. By chance, all but two didn't make it back.

For four days we held up in the ocean putting up with some crazy waves. It wasn't fun, knowing you were so close to land and yet it was out of reach. When the storm passed and we were  allowed back into the harbour, I think everyone muttered 'finally!'

That night our new voyage crew came on board and were all given an introduction to the ship.  However, me and all others who's leave had been cancelled, were allowed to leave the ship that night.  We ended up at the ' whatever bar' where the live music was dominated by a double eucallay.  fora couple of hours we danced and drank rum, enjoying the friendly atmosphere.  And then, the next day, the voyage to Samoa began. fruit and veg brought on, the fuel tanks filled up and the anchor hauled up.

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