A potentially serious and alarming situation is looming for many of Rarotonga's accommodators, restaurateurs, bars, traders, public and private buildings as well as private residents.
Sarah Wilson recalls the time back in 1995 when a group of Rarotonga residents became involved in a huge protest campaign against nuclear testing on the French Polynesian island of Mururoa. The local protest effort was aided by the Cook Islands government, which arranged for the voyaging canoe Te Au O Tonga to join the protest flotilla.
Just over a hundred years ago, island and district communities across the Cook Islands took to the high seas in European designed sailing ships as part of the Cooks' first major venture into international commerce.
Dr Peter Nuttall is head of the sustainable sea transport research program at the University of the South Pacific, Suva.
Rare ship visits are always something that the residents of Palmerston Island look forward to with careful preparation, great anticipation and much excitement.