We made it to Aitutaki! After a great sail lasting 4 nights and 3 days, we’ve arrived at our first stop in the Cook Islands. It’s gorgeous here — a beautiful blue lagoon surrounds a low lying mountain range, the tallest peak reaches just 124 meters. We’re anchored outside of the coral reef that surrounds the lagoon, as the pass is too shallow for us to traverse. It’s not ideal, but if the wind and swell remain the way they are now (15 knots of breeze, and about 1 meter swell), we shouldn’t have any problems staying here for a few days.
We just dropped the anchor, so next on the agenda is checking in to the country and exploring the island. We heard one of the officials on the radio as we were nearing the island — he was speaking fluent English with a New Zealand accent! It’s quite a relief to be in an English-speaking country again, and we’re eager to see the Polynesian/Maori descendants of this area speak with a down-under accent. For as long as we were in French Polynesia, none of us firmly grasped the French language, so it’ll be a nice reprieve to be able to easily communicate with the locals here.
After this, we’re off to Palmerston atoll, then Beveridge Reef, Niue, and Tonga. We’ll update you with blogs and pictures when we have some stories to share.