29 July 2010
The island of Niue is in free association with New Zealand, one of the many islands of the South Pacific that without outside aid would economically collapse. Most native Niueans have emigrated to New Zealand in search of higher paying better jobs. More Niueans live in New Zealand than Niue by about 5 to 1.
Niue is a lovely high island and has virtually no outlying barrier reef. The exact opposite of Beveridge Reef. The sail began slowly, but during the night, the wind picked up in the 20+ knot range and we were making excellent time. We slowed down as to arrive around first light and once behind the islands leeward side we were treated to calm seas and high island views. We were really looking forward to the diving here and the most unusual way we “boaties” had to get ashore.
We pulled into Alofi Bay to discover “the crowd” had beat us in. Not only were there the seven boats we’d been with at Berveridge Reef, but an additional 10 other boats. The anchorage area in Niue is quite deep, so the Niue Yacht Club offers moorings for visiting yachts at a very reasonable fee. We went ashore to do our check in and some brief exploring including “almost real” markets. Commodore Keith and his wife Sue administrate the Niue Yacht Club which is hosted by Mamata (pronounced “mama-ta”) at her ice cream parlor and eatery. We soon were able to get on the internet, shop, buy a few nice bottles of Kiwi wine and arrange to go diving.
First I should mention that as Niue is a young island and has no outlying reef, it also has no sand beaches and no harbors. This makes getting ashore an interesting proposition. You take your dinghy up to a large crane hoist at the wharf. Passengers disembark, you hook up a bridle to the crane and step out of the dinghy. Sometimes a bit of “wave timing” becomes important lest you go for a swim. Then with an electric winch, your dinghy is lifted up to the height of the dock and swung over the concrete wharf where you can wheel it away or put in on a dolly (provided) and move it out of the way. It was pretty weird looking at up to 15 dinghies all lined up on the wharf as if in a parking lot. See 08 – 2010 Niue TOPSIDE Photo Gallery (which will be posted this week – January 2011).
Along with the diving, Niue is well noted for it’s hikes along the rugged coast into huge stone caverns and tidal pools.
We arranged for our first days dive at “Snake Gully” and wait till you see these pictures of CINDY HANDLING SEA SNAKES….. SEE: 07-08 – 2010 Niue UNDERWATER Photo Gallery…..posting this week, January 2011….
Go to the contact form at the homepage or drop us an email on this exciting event. We’d get to hear lots of humpback whales and swim with dolphins too. Hopefully some video of the dolphins and sea snakes will make it on the site soon…..
KIT (keep in touch),
Scott and Cindy