Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We are currently on Easter Island en route to Pitcairn Island. We had a great time in Tahiti even though it was only for just one night. I'll post a few photos once I have access to everything. We are both well and enjoying the trip.We watched an awesome dance routine at the local Easter Island community hall.  There were about 300 people involved.  The culture and language seem  very similar to Maori culture We hope to do a tour around the island tomorrow to see the great big stone statues.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Quad Bike Day


The quad bike training was way out of my comfort zone. I'm gonna have to toughen up to survive on Pitcairn. It felt like I had to drive/slide down a muddy sky scraper with potholes in the side , crab along sideways at the bottom and then drive back up to the top on the other side, all in the pouring rain. The instructor said he was trying to simulate conditions we might face on Pitcairn. We covered 50 km through forest and it took 4 hours of riding, all on my first time driving a quad bike ... but it definitely won't be my last as this is the form of transport we will have on the island. That was yesterday. Today my arms feel about 6 cm longer and the sockets of my shoulders need realigning. Needless to say Paul thought it was fun. I'm sure all the Pitcairn Islanders would have thought that it was just an ordinary day. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Boat Training on the Auckland Harbour

Ruth at the helm

PRADA zoomed past close to us
"Turn the helm to port and bring her about.  Good, good.  Now toss the painter to John and he can secure her to the cleat," yelled Baz our instructor at the Marine Coastguard training day. I nervously looked down at my right hand to check that it had a big capital 'P' on it to make sure it was the port side. Oops I should have kept my eyes on the rapidly approaching wharf. The boat gave a bit of a whack as I parked it. But then I put it into reverse with a jerk and gave Baz a fright and he nearly lost his balance. Such are the joys of teaching me to drive a boat and park it correctly.  Now I'm an expert and will be able to drive the Pitcairn Long boat! (Yeah Right !) I'm even getting a certificate to prove it. Paul thinks otherwise. His highlight of the day was when PRADA the world class sailing yacht came zooming past us. It was a fabulous day even if I do have a bit of a dehydration headache.  I didn't want to drink too much out there in the hot sun as there wasn't a loo to be seen on our 5 metre aluminium and inflatable boat and I was the only woman.

Sky Tower View

View of Sky Tower
Wednesday evening was a lovely warm evening in Auckland.  We have a close up view of the Sky Tower from our bedroom window and it is all lit up at night. During the night we were awoken by noise from the protesters at Aotea Square down below.  There's lots of camping tents pitched in the public square and the police have been keeping a close eye on the protesters. They were shouting and screaming.  BUT I leaned out the bedroom window and in my best school teacher's voice told them all to be quiet, and they settled down and went to sleep...NOT!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Training Day in Auckland

The Pitcairn Island Office is in Queen Street, Auckland. It is on the 17th floor of a tall multi-storied glass sky scraper. The office is part of the British High Commission so we have to go through a series of locked doors to get in. It has a great view out over the city to the sea. Walking up the street twice a day is a feat in itself. There are crowds of people all going opposite ways. I just stream line in behind some large man who seems to be walking purposefully and the crowds seem to part for him!

The  Keeping Children Safe training day today was very interesting and included 4 short 10 minute videos to watch of different abuse scenarios. Paul and I had to watch the videos and spot the contributing factors that added up to an abuse case in each situation. There was emotional abuse in each case. It was quite sad to watch and I just wanted to reach out and help the kids. I'm guessing it will take a full generation of children to grow up on a much safer Pitcairn in order to turn the situation around. Hopefully Paul and I can be part of the solution.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pitcairn Island looks for a way ahead

Just under a week now before we board our plane for the first part of the journey from New Zealand to Pitcairn. We saw this interesting article in the newspaper yesterday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

On Our Way

We are travelling to visit NZ family members just now but leave for Pitcairn on 30th Jan. We fly to Tahiti, then Easter Island where we stay for 3 days waiting for a ship that will transport us to Pitcairn Island. The journey on the cruise ship will take 3 days to get to the island where we will be transferred to shore via longboat.