Since July 31, around 39 yachts have docked in the marina, exceeding last year’s total of 31 for the same time period, says Ports Authority general manager Nooroa (Bim) Tou.
“Most of the yachts come via French Polynesia, and the marina can accommodate between 15 to 20 at any one time, depending on the size of the yachts.”
Due to the variable nature of the yachting season, the Ports Authority only receives notice around 48 hours before boats actually arrive. However, in spite of this, the authority has no problems accommodating all of the vessels in the harbour, Tou says.
On board the yachts of all shapes and sizes that have called since July 31, have been visitors from countries including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and continental Europe.
One of the yachts that docked at the marina for two weeks was the Bella Sirena, which has been traveling the world’s oceans since last November.
Captain Bryon MacDonald, from San Francisco, and his crewmates Slater Mcarele, San Diego, and Serean Sebe, Romania, arrived in Rarotonga from Raiatea, French Polynesia.
“We left from San Diego on November 1, then stopped in Mexico. We have made 15 stops in total,” MacDonald said as he and his crew were preparing to depart last week.
They came to Rarotonga by following what is known as “the Coconut Milk Run”, a cross Pacific trip that will take them next to Niue.
The crew, who hope to make it to Auckland, New Zealand, by December, said their longest journey so far on the trip has taken them 23 days.
“We didn’t see any airplanes, or islands or boats,” said Mcarele. “Just birds and the water.”
Boredom has not become an issue for the crew as they are well equipped for entertainment.
“We have plenty to read on our e-books, we listen to music, and there is always something on that boat that keeps us busy,” said Sebe.
The number of yachts calling at Rarotonga is expected to steadily diminish with the imminent arrival of the cyclone season, which lasts from November to March.