Niue is the largest uplifted coral island in the world and it is surrounded by a reef which is steep to so anchoring is impossible. The Niue yacht club has about 17 buoys to enable yachts to visit the island. After a few welcome hours sleep we had to get ashore to check in. This was truly the Gibson lifts finest hour as this can only be done by going along side the high wall of the commercial wharf and attaching a large hook to the dinghy’s lifting apparatus ,scrambling out of the dingy onto slippery steps then lifting the dinghy onto land with the electric crane ! The first morning there was a significant swell so the manoeuvre was tricky to say the least with the large crane hook swinging about threatening a head injury any moment and the dinghy bouncing up and down the wall! Once the dinghy is on the wharf there is a trolley to move the dinghy to the parking place. The hook must be detached and lowered down the wall for the next persons use. We managed the first morning with difficulty but during our stay became quite efficient. Once again thankyou Malcolm. We had the usual check in procedure but the people are very helpful and friendly and drove us to the office and completed the formalities quite efficiently although this did take most of the morning!
The Niue yacht Club also housing Niue backpackers lodging has internet and very helpful staff with Commodore Keith and his team welcoming us with fresh baguettes! After check in we orientated oursleves to the town of Alofi and enjoyed a delicious lunch of fish and chips .The food on board with the rough conditions had been sketchy so chips have never tasted so good. We were of course waiting for the referendum result with baited breath and were so disappointed and shocked to hear the result on New Zealand radio. We had cast our votes from Polynesia using Henry as our proxy but to no avail ….what now ??
We hired a car and drove around the island and explored some of the seatracks which are paths cut through the coral to the sea often leading to beautiful pools protected by the reef which make for wonderful swimming and snorkelling .The water is crystal clear but sadly not very much living coral but the chasms cut through are quite striking .The east side of the island has many abandoned houses as so many Niueans have left the island for New Zealand . There is a hospital and a school and a smart resort as well as local cafes and restaurants but these are mainly on the west side of the island. We enjoyed a delicious Japanese meal one evening and an indian roti for lunch.
Sunday is a do nothing day here so we just did the last minute checks listening to the church bells summoning the faithful .We hope to leave for Apia , Samoa tomorrow Monday 27th June .
Sunday 26th June Niue island