Commodores Report 2003
By Joe Wright – Commodore
Tuesday, 15 April 2003.
First of all we would like to start of with an apology for delivering the newsletter so late to all of you this year. The season started early and every one was very busy so it was not till end of August that we managed to get all the members together for the Annual General Meeting, update the website and get the newsletter send out to everyone.
It’s hard to write something different in my report from previous years as nothing much changes on Niue – the Yacht Club just sails along. We are very lucky to have a hard core of dedicated members working behind the scenes checking and repairing the moorings, helping the odd yachtie that needs assistance with repairs, organising barbecues etc.The last yacht to leave Niue last year was Easy Street – it departed on 19 November 2001 and the first arrival for 2002 was Charlatan, who moored up on 25 April. There seemed to be a steady flow of arrivals from then on. The Blue Water Rally Sailing Club from UK arrived en mass – what a wild bunch. We put on a barbecue at Washaway Cafe for them and everyone came in fancy dress – it was a real hoot! We set a new record this year with 207 arrivals and up to 32 yachts in the Bay at one time – it was a great sight to see from Tomb Point. Ken and Janet of Aquila still hold the record for the longest stay of 162 days. The weather was better this year with more constant Easterly Trades and with the moorings in the lee of the Island, it kept reasonably calm. As usual we had the humpback whales interacting with the yachts in the Bay, giving everyone on board a thrill of a lifetime. We did have a problem with ciguagera poisoning this year as the fish around the wharf area got it and after eating the fish, some of the locals got fairly sick. They blamed the Yachties for emptying their holding tanks in the Bay, thus creating the problem, but that is ridiculous as the sheer amount of water that moves through the Bay would flush anything away. However please empty your holding tanks before you arrive and if flushing things in the Bay, please use a bit if discretion.At present the Yacht Club is looking at funding someone to go to New Zealand to do a CPR instructors course, to take the load off Ian Grey who has been doing the courses up until now. I would like to thank the staff at Customs who came out at weekends to clear yachts when they arrived; Niue radio for their 24-hour watch and their helpfulness to the yachts when they arrive and while on Niue. Also the Tourism Office, the Internet Society for email services, and the Rarotonga Harbour master who provides information on our moorings and sends so many yachts to us. Last but not least a thank you to the club members, where would the Club be without members like Ian and Annie from Niue Dive, Graham, Ernie, Jeff, Secretary Trudy and Treasurer Mary. Just a bit of useless information – the Niue Hash House Harriers flew up to Samoa for a weekend bash and because most of the Hashers are also Yacht Club members, we all paid a visit to the Apia Yacht Club for a great night of drinking, good food and great company – we must do it again!!
For Customs clearance on arrival and departure the hours are: Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm. Saturday and Sunday there will be a Customs Officer available at 9am and 4pm.
Yacht Club Souvenirs
In future Yacht Club souvenirs including T- shirts etc. can be purchased from Island Hopper Vacations office in the Commercial Center in Alofi, so call in and see Lofa Rex.
Westpac Rally of the Rock
Westpac Rally of the Rock was held on 6 September 2003. In the previous years we have had a few yachties competing, but unfortunately there were not a lot of yacht around this year. The Rally is our annual mountain bike race on the island. This year the race was about 25kms of bush trails in the center of the Island. We had five special timed stages of approximately 5 kms long and riders are set off at one minute intervals. Each rider is individually timed and the one who does the fastest time overall, wins. There is time to catch your breath between all stages and the whole Rally is usually completed by midday. After the race we had a BBQ and prize giving with lots of sponsored prices.
Yacht Club BBQ’s
We had a change of venue for our BBQ’s this year – we moved to the Nuku Club which is only a short walk from the wharf. They have a good bar and facilities. We were able to hold about 7 successful BBQ’s this year because we did not have the same problems with booking the premises. Thanks to the locals and yachties who supported us. For 2003 we will hold the BBQ at the Niue hotel.
Diving And Yachting
Another enjoyable mix of yachties and diving in 2002 – many of you came for dives with us and experienced the caverns, coral reefs, great visibility and interesting marine life around Niue. Sea snakes, turtles, barracuda, sharks and eels featured on many of the dives and several of you helped us road test new dives sites such as Tamakautoga, Hikutavake and “The Bridge”. Space on the wharf was at a premium with the American SeeBees doing some construction work so we all experienced the frustration of trying to launch boats and find somewhere to park them out of the way. The noise from the wharf kept the whales away from the anchorage during daylight hours but quite a few of you reported good interactions in the early mornings and late afternoons. The pods of spinner dolphins also made a few memorable appearances around the yachts and many yachties got to swim with them during surface intervals on our dive trips – especially in Avatele Bay. Niue Dive continued to offer its popular boat pick-up service for trips leaving from the main wharf. For boats who were self contained on the diving front – we allowed free use of our dive moorings when we weren’t using them, requiring only a courtesy call on the VHF to check it was OK to pick one up – the majority of yachties seemed happy enough to comply with this request. Apart from our regular guided dives and dive courses, our services were also called upon for tender recoveries. Three dinghies broke free when the winds and swells shifted around to the west – one rescue involved a bouncy swim over the reef flat, an even bouncy ride back to the yacht and a challenging swim back to the wharf. As usual we installed and maintained all the yacht moorings – replacing any floats that had disappeared and providing a mid year check of all the shackles. We also removed the moorings at the end of the season for their annual inspection and service. 2003 is already proving a popular season for diving, with hammerheads and humpbacks encountered on several dives in the past few months. We look forward to sharing more memorable dives with you when you next visit our part of the Pacific.
Although I tried to resign last AGM, I still ended up as the unofficial treasure for 2002/2003. For this new year I have definitely resigned and we now have a new treasure, Ingrid. I wish all the best and hope she enjoys the position as much as I have for the last years. We are very stable financially, with a stable income from new and renewed memberships, thanks to all if you who joined our club. Unfortunately we were not able to do all the community projects we had planned, but we are hopefully we will succeed this year. As usual we donated money to the old folks Xmas party, the annual bike ride race – the Rally of the Rock, we purchased 2 VHF radios and a handheld GPS for the club. We also purchased a lot of gear for maintenance on the existing mooring and for the making of new moorings. We are in the process of making 6 more moorings, which will give us a total of 20 moorings in the anchorage.
Committee – Graham Marsh, Terry Coe