Suwarrow is one of the Northern Cook Islands and is an isolated atoll hundreds of miles from anywhere. A few people were stranded there during the 2nd World war and at one point had to tie themselves to trees to survive a Cyclone. A New Zealander, Tom Neale, lived there alone for some years in the 1950s and 60s and wrote a book about it. The atoll is now a Nature Reserve and has a warden during the season (but not when we were there). You are only allowed to anchor at Anchorage island which is where Tom Neale’s house is (and where the caretakers stay). We arrived after 6 days from Bora Bora, navigating very carefully through the pass to anchor in the lagoon with rest of the fleet, trying to put the anchor in sand and not coral, which you could see in the clear water. We had a pilot whale right by the boat on one day, it came in really close. We had a great and very sociable time at this lovely peaceful place, swimming, snorkelling, walking on the reef, enjoying sundowners and potluck lunch on the beach. There were many black tipped reef sharks but they seemed pretty indifferent to humans. Most boats stayed an extra day as the forecast for Niue was not good. Leaving involved various shenanigans trying to unwind anchor chains from the coral heads, mostly it was a team effort with a snorkeller from another boat in the water to direct, we would not have got out without the help of Dan from Skyelark as our chain had managed to wedge itself between 2 rocks.

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