Because Palmerston is such a low-lying island on top a volcanic coral atoll, we took all the more care to make sure we anchored securely. With the wind freshening to Force 4 (16 to 23kts) we anchored in 15m of water and Ed Marsters son David brought all the officials to do our clearance – Biosecurity, Health and Customs/Immigration after which he took us ashore to meet his family. We were glad to know and found out that we have a PNG lady working here on the Island on a contract as a nurse, Melvie is her name and she comes from Buka,, our Papuan crews were so happy to meet their wantok
Our experience at Palmerston Atoll was one of the most pleasurable of our voyage. We were welcomed by the Masters family, the ladies cooked while David took us on a short tour around the island, they are so hardworking and the loveliest people we ever met, we dined with them on fish we caught and the others they cleaned and froze. Colly and I stayed onshore and the next morning we had to join the morning fellowship at 06 .00, we were told that Colly had to wear the hat to church as it is a Cook Islands custom that all females wear hats in church so Colly had one that morning.
We joined their fellowship and sang praises to God with them in their church. I have never experienced such a warm welcome but then we all were aware of our unity in Christ. Some men from New Zealand had married island women and were making their lives there too. They also gave us some of the floats used by longline fishermen that had blown ashore to help us make our moorings back home in Misima and some light ones as well to help us roll our small boats ashore on beaches. The ring of the atoll is the top edge of an underwater volcano now fringed with coral and some four islands spaced on that rim, the main one of which is Palmerston Island on which the people live. The surf broke magnificently on the Northern fringe opposite the edge exposed to the SE trades and the distant and gentle roar of the surf enhanced the delightful feel of the place and its people.
After the last evening our crew were aboard, we weighed anchor and after bidding our final farewells, headed off into the night for Tonga or more specifically the Northernmost part of the island group, Vava’u and its main port Neiafu. Chris had caught a mahi-mahi from the tender earlier whilst driving it at 8kts, which Colly cooked together with a snapper that Gelly caught
and with that Living Water picked up her skirts to the SE trades and sailed into the night…