22nd of November 2019, Manihiki Island
Blessed by three good catches of fish, Cook Arina asked me to prepare sushi for lunch. Soon I found myself rolling sticky rice, fish and veggies in Nori seaweed skin. Next to me, Teitera was preparing the Hawaiian version of the Japanese delicacy: sticky rice, fried SPAM and Nori. Well, I leave it up to your guess which dish was the most popular with our crew during lunch time.
This morning we were fortunate to find solid anchorage in the lee of Manihiki island, abreast of the pass to the main village Tauhunu. According to locals, for the last three days the sea had been too rough to anchor, or even use the pass for any operation.
At seven thirty in the morning the lighter came alongside to take our dear passengers and their luggage to shore. Thank you Rev. Marsters for your company and your blessings.
The same lighter brought on board a company of Health and Bio-Security inspectors as well as local nurse Metua. She was asked to come on board to check one of our crew members who suffered from intestinal pains.
The actions of Bio-security exceeded all customary protocol and soon we received notice “from Rarotonga” to stop our cargo operations so that the officials could ‘fumigate’ our cargo hold. The austere actions of this Department surprised us and I went on shore to investigate about the reasons for the new approach.
Apparently there had been an outbreak of Measles in Samoa (brought on by sailors?) and a case of swine disease caused by foreign ants (brought in by ships?). Anyway, the Cook Island Government pulled the reigns on Bio-Security and organized additional training for their outer-island officers. Our officers ended up making pictures from dead bugs and spiders in the hold and declared our vessel sanitized. We were allowed to continue our work.
Under a blazing Southern Summer Sun, we set up our usual Kwai-Store on shore which brought out most of the islanders, and sales turned out better than expected.
Tomorrow we will relocate the vessel to the Northern shores near the village of Tukao.