NIUE ISLAND, 19° 03´S; 169° 55´W


Welcome to Niue!


Niue might be a nice island. Interesting place and nice people to meet, their website is promising many beautifull spots. I decided to make a short visit, even if I did not have much time, it seemed worth and it was on my way to New Zeland. However there was something which was not mentioned on their website. There are perhaps too many good things for such a small island. It may be a reason why the goverment has to employ somebody incompetent and arrogant. To balance the things. Too much good is not right, high concetrations must be diluted. If this is the case, the customs officer I was dealing with was diluting more than well.


I arrived in the morning on day one. Customs arrived, searched my boat, asked me how long I want to stay (two or three days I said), gave me a form to fill. The officer did not check me in. (There was some confusion about my last clearance, he did not like the paper I had, but as it came out later my paper was OK). The result was that I did not get permition to go on shore except the day after to come to the customs office to be checked in. My day one here was a dissapointment


Day two in the morning I came to the office. I was informed that it is still unclear whether I can or can not be checked in, later the same guy told me that my paper is OK, I can be checked in, but I have to wait in my boat untill afternoon he arrives again to finish my entry. It meant that I have to spent my seccond day on the island in my boat again. Not very pleasant after many days of lonely sailing. I did not even have a shower not to miss the officer. The story goes: nobody arrived, nobody even bothered to call me on the radio. The day was over, it was more than dissapointing this time.


There was no day three on Niue for me. I did not feel welcomed. I know that customs are also people, having their bad days and with a patience you usually get through to get the "damned paper and enjoy the holidays". This time my pride was more important, I decided to leave immediately. I will miss all the beauties of the island of Niue just for the feeling that I am a free man and nobody is going to treat me like that. I called the man (it is not difficult to find somebodies number on a small island), I got no explanation for letting me wait. I asked for returning my clearance from the previous port because I am leaving. He did not say sorry, because he was not sorry, I think. He told me that I can not leave. He was not right, I realised when the breeze filled my sails and Waterbird slowly moved out of the bay.


I probably put myself into trouble. Arriving to a next port without clearance. There will be a fine or something. Like the guy in Jack London novel I can always go to wander in the stars. But I really hope that the attitude from authorities in New Zeland will have some understanding. Simple reason. Next destination would be Chile. I would rather not to take Jack London too literally. Its nearly a galactic distance!


A Cake a la Free spirit

Despite all the horrible welcome, I have had one great experience here. It does not have much in common with Niue because it happened on a Dutch boat named Free Spirit, sailed by a couple - Ana and Paul. Ana made a fantastic cake. Even the ingredients came from somewhere else - I brought banana fei from Society Islands. I was given a big piece of the fresh cake before they left and it was probably the best banana cake a have ever had.


Ingredients:1/2 cup soft butter; 1 cup sugar; 2eggs; 1and1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas; 1teaspoon vanilla; 2 cups flour;1 teaspoon baking soda; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice; and optional 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel and 1/2 cup of chopped nuts.

The secret: Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl untill light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix it well. Stir in bananas, lemon juice and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and lemon peel and blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in nuts. Bake in greased and floured loaf pan, square pan or muffin cups. 9"x5"x3" loaf pan-55 min; 9x9 square pan-40 min; muffin cups-25min. Oven preheat to 210°C/350°F.


How simple - the world is better with FREE SPIRIT! (By the way, what a irony, my other neighbour´s boat was called Aqua Libra (Free Water), everybody was Free and I was stuck:-))

Dobrý voják Švejk v Jižním Pacifiku

Věřte nebo ne, na molu v Niue jsem potkal člověka, který, když se dozvěděl odkud jsem, hrdě pronesl "Znám Jaroslava Haška". Já jsem si zprvu neuvědomil, že nemluví o sportovci (na to jsem totiž celkem zvyklý, např. na Ostrovech Zeleného mysu znají venkovští kluci české fotbalisty lépe než já). "Dobrý voják Švejk", dodal a ujistil mě, že má knihu dokonce doma a přečtenou. Švějkův přístup by se býval hodil při jednání s výše zmíněným celníkem..


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