Posted by: Carol | May 2, 2009

Penrhyn Yacht Record Book

2009 South Pacific

cbparker_d700_20090502_penrhyn-003Tetautua Village maintains a Yacht Record Book – an oversize hardback book with lined blank pages, covered with canvas and stored in a vinyl water resistant bag. Each visiting yacht over the past many years has filled out a page or two in the record book. It’s a blast to read through the old entries filled with photos, sketches, and journals posted by a wide variety of cruisers. Rod came here in 9 years ago on his own sailboat Uwhilna – we found his page and he bemoaned his lost youth as evidenced in the 8-year old photo (poor Rod is now an ancient old man of 42!).

We filled in our entry last night, scrounging through the boat to find illustrative material to liven things up. We had to hurry, as Penrhyn’s third visiting yacht of the season arrived right after us – a 50 foot catamaran named Life’s A Dream that made a 14 day passage from Hawaii under adverse circumstances, including no communications (sailmail failure) and broken down steering. One crew member’s girlfriend had just posted a “missing yacht notice” when we loaned them our Iridium satphone in order for them to call home to let everyone know they were fine. Mike gave them a hand with their communications equipment and updated their sailmail software, and I think they’ve got their communications up to par now for their next passage.

cbparker_d700_20090502_penrhyn-005Here’s our entry into the Penrhyn Yacht Record, dated April 24, 2009.

“Raven is an American flagged Sundeer 64 cutter rigged sailboat designed by Steve Dashew and built in 1994. Mike and Carol are her third owners and bought Raven in New Zealand late 2004. During the ensuing four years Raven has cruised New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Samoa, French Polynesia (including the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, and the Marquesas), Hawaii, San Diego, Baja California, mainland Mexico (Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo) and the Sea of Cortez between La Paz and Guaymas. Now in 2009 Raven is heading back to the South Pacific by way of French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, Niue, Tonga and finally New Zealand.

Raven’s captain Rod Bradley stays aboard full-time and makes the long passages with crew. Mike and Carol still have obligations at home (Tucson, Arizona) so fly in and out of the best spots to enjoy painless cruising! Rod visited Penrhyn 9 years ago aboard his own sailboat Uwhilna – see his entry earlier in this book! He had such a wonderful visit he couldn’t wait to convince us to return to this beautiful atoll.

We have been treated with incredible hospitality, generosity and kindness. Thank you so much to Tetautua Village and its residents for including us in so many memorable events – ANZAC Day memorial services in the church and tea afterwards in the meeting hall, the milkfish picnic feast and the coconut crab brunch. Also the gifts of tuna, lobster, and pearls!

We especially enjoyed the incredible underwater scenery – the coral formations in Takuua Passage are world class and the fish (and shark) population abundant.

We have enjoyed our brief introduction to Penrhyn’s very special way of life. In all our travels this is the warmest welcome we have ever received! We will remember our visit forever, especially the Penrhyn people who welcomed us as friends.

Carol, Mike, Geraldine, Rodders”



  1. Just simply lovely.

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