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We left Bora Bora in about 15/20 knots of wind with lumpy seas and a rather uncomfortable motion but this soon improved as the winds dropped to a nice breeze.

We had the Genoa poled out and the motion was quite smooth. The days were sunny and breezy with stronger winds at night – nice downwind sailing.

Obviously, this couldn't last and the wind built up after three days and was coming more from behind providing quite an uncomfortable rolly motion. However, we were making good progress and to quote the Skipper's log “sometimes it is better to arrive than travel”....

We arrived at Suwarrow (formerly known as Suvarov) on 23rd August. Leg 5 completed - 6 days and 700 miles.

Suwarrow is part of the Northern group of the Cook Islands. Officially, it is a Marine Park and there are a couple of really friendly Rangers living on the Island in Tom Neale's old house for half the year basically looking after the visiting yachties. He was a modern day "Robinson Crusoe" from New Zealand who lived here for a number of years in solitude between 1952 and 1977. (He wrote the book "An Island to Oneself"). Sadly, he never found the buried treasure he was looking for and died in 1977 on Rarotonga.

One of the Rangers entertaining the Cruisers...

During WWII New Zealand coastwatchers were stationed here and the few decrepit buildings on Anchorage Island date from that time.

The atoll has one of the best harbours in the Pacific. It is quadrilateral in shape and 50 miles in circumference. Its reef encloses a land-locked lagoon 12 miles by 8. Cyclones have often created waves which sweep right over the atoll since its small component of land is extremely low-lying.

There are 25 motus within the lagoon of which only 5 are sizeable. The Rangers kindly organised interesting little tours around the lagoon which were well worthwhile.

The Island was once described by Mrs Robert Louis Stevenson as "the most romantic island in the world". She had visited in April 1890 with her husband aboard the trading steamer Janet Nicoll, which called at Suwarrow during a trading cruise around the central Pacific. Although it is a tempting thought, it was not the model for "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson, since he knew nothing of Suwarrow when he wrote his famous book.

Basically, the Island is a deserted Paradise with hundreds of Seabirds, Sharks and Coconut Crabs.

She looks braver than she felt...

One of the highlights for us was snorkelling with Manta Rays just yards away from our anchor.

However, there were hundreds of Black Tip Reef sharks plus a few Grey ones swimming all around us and Vicki was a tad concerned that Basil would dive overboard again...

Feeding frenzy...

Having had our fill, we took a good weatherbox and left on 6th September heading for the Kingdom of Tonga.