January 31, 2013 Rarotonga, Cook Islands Cruising
We were scheduled to stop at Rarotonga on this day to take a tour of the island however the seas were too rough for us to stop. Here is what we missed. Rarotonga is the most populated island of the Cook Islands. Although Cook Islanders are referred to as Rarotongan, they may in fact come from any of the 15 islands in the group, such as Aitutaki or Mangaia. The island of Rarotonga stands over 14,750 feet above the ocean floor and is 20 miles in circumference. At a depth of 13,000 feet, the volcano is nearly 31 miles in diameter. Te Manga, at 2,140 feet above sea level is the highest peak on the island. The island contains many resorts and hotels for tourists who enjoy swimming, diving and boating. The perimeter of the island has beautiful white sandy beaches while the interior of the island is mostly unpopulated with forbidding terrain, dense green vegetation and lacks dependable roads. No roads cross the island and there are only two bus routes: Clockwise and Counter Clockwise.
The ships crew quickly changed the day’s agenda to accommodate our early departure after a quick cruise around the island. Unfortunately the skies were gray and rainy and the seas were rough so there was not much that we could see of the island.
Bruce Linder lectured on: How the West was Won…..by Sea. He discussed how ships played an important role in the Pacific during the nineteenth century when the northwest was largely unexplored and uninhabited. At the same time Americans were traveling west by wagon train, ships were busy exploring the coast and even trading furs in the Oregon Territory.
Charlie Urbanowicz lectured on: Gauguin, as well as other Europeans, and the Pacific. He discussed how Gauguin was one of the most romantic observers of island life in the Pacific and how he drew inspiration from Easter Island, New Zealand and Tahiti. Gauguin was only one of several artists at this time that all shared ideas and painted very similar themes but each with a unique perspective.
The evening’s entertainment was a group of three Celtic Tenors from Ireland who performed a variety of music from traditional Irish songs to opera. They put on an excellent show and were well received by the audience, especially the one who sang the whole show with his zipper open.