First day Niue
This morning we were ordered to be at the pier at 9am for check-in with customs. We got up, quick breakfast and off we went - in rain - wondering why there are tents and some people on the pier (like yesterday) and how the hauling out of the Dinghy is going to work. The friendliness of the island started right there, in the water. A whole bunch of spinner dolphins came and escorted us all the way to the wharf. There were at least 25 of them in the bay, about 10 escorted us. Oh my god they were so cute. In the pouring rain I did not pull out my phone to take some pictures. At the wharf there was someone to help us. The waves kept pushing the Dinghy up and down and towards the wall. I got of at the ladder while Marcus stayed in the Dinghy to receive the hook. Once hooked in, with the help of a rope, he got off onto the stairs (which were under water) and there we were. We put the Dinghy on that one trailer which lives on the pier and pulled it out of the way. As we found out to
day was a raft competition. LIke we know "soap box races" these were rafts made ot of branches and supposed to be paddled by four people. We saw one which we really liked and thought it has the best construction as ist was close to a real good catamaran hull. Well, needless to say, this raft, with 4 young kids from the Niue high school, won this whole thing. They actually won 1000 NZD!
Ok, on the pier we waited for quite a while until a Van with the print "Ministries" showed up. A symphatic looking young guy with a big smile and curly hair invited us to jump into the van and off we took. Ok, we thought, nice that we get a ride to the offices. but no, we just drove up the hill, stopped in front of the customs wherehouse. There, in the van, we gave him all the forms which we had prepared, printed and filled out, he looked at the passports and the immigration forms, took everything and then told us, we will get the passports stamped when we check out (immigrations officer not available today) and also we will then pay 15NZD for quarantine for trash and NZD80 per person clearing fee. We received the check-out forms and left the van 10 min after we boarded it with no official document or stamp but the passports in our hands. The guy made clear that if we want to leave between now and Tuesday we'd have to clear out right away, as they do not work on public holida
y and weekends. It was nice enough he'd check us in on Friday. Yes, they theoretically do work 5 days, but practically they only work 4 days. Too bad yesterday was holiday, so still Friday is basically no working day.
Ah, ok, understood.
So we were at land, puzzled to see everything closed. Well, they are celebrating their constitution this long weekend. Another public holiday coming up on Monday. So it turns out we're really "lucky". Almost everything is closed this long weekend, including tourist information. Oh wait, no, they will be open tomorrow for 3 hours. So, we can't even check in with the Niue Yacht club, as you have to do it in the tourism office. Not a problem, we walked to the "home" of the NYC anyways. A nice lady, ira, welcomed us, gave us the password for the (at the moment not working) wifi, gave us the most necessary informations for around Alofi and off we went. Had NZD5 lunch at the Indian restaurant and then watched the third and last part of the race and the price giving as well as the haul out of all the boats before we were finally able to let our Dinghy back into the water to go back to Alita. Why go back? Well, we're in the middle of a troph and we do not know if the wind's going to
turn westerly / northerly and how bad the weather is going to get. We need to be prepared to leave the mooring anytime and sail around Niue to wait for the weather to settle down. So we're back here on Alita, rocking and rolling and looking out for the dolphins to keep us company. I was going to book an island tour for tomorrow but with the weather we don't know if we can actually do it, we have to be on the boat. So that's that. For Tuesday I have a rental car (could not get one earlier), so I hope the weather plays with me. I don't know yet if I'll be able to get a car on the other days, I'll try. But, hard, with all these holidays. We asked if there are more coming up to make sure there is non when we try to check out. The answer is priceless: we con't know yet.