The fleet of seven state-of-the-art voyaging vaka reached Rarotonga on Thursday (17 May – see previous video). Crewmembers spent Friday relaxing, catching up with family and friends and getting ready for a couple of days ashore, then on Friday evening the public had the chance to catch up with the sailors and listen to their stories.
The voyagers paraded through Avarua to Punanga Nui where a night market had been set up with plenty of food vendors on hand to feed the hungry hordes.
The string band from Rau Maire culture group entertained while everyone ate and then local environment groups briefly explained their activities here in the Cook Islands
Various vaka crew performed haka and talked about their experiences and the sights they’d seen that made them realise, for all its size, how fragile an environment our Pacific Ocean is.
The evening was fine which was fortunate because cold, wet, windy conditions on Saturday meant the vaka weren’t able to take wannabee sailors for short excursions into the waters around Avatiu.
The fleet departed on Tuesday morning, heading for Samoa and setting course to avoid an area of low pressure producing strong winds and heavy rain.
I hope they all managed to skirt the disturbances but here on Rarotonga we’ve had to wrap up and endure it. It’s OK for locals but unfortunate for the visitors who have been here for the past week. It’s not been much of a tropical island paradise for them.