Suvarow Atoll, paradise cut off from the outside world

19. August 2012, Sunday
13° 16' 57" S, 163° 7' 30" W

I'm sitting on the deck of the Odin, looking at the white palm-fringed beach of an island in the Suvarow Atoll and, while I'm writing these lines, thinking about what day of the week and what date it is today....I don't know...I think mid-August ...?!
Actually, it doesn't really matter, I don't even know when we'll be able to publish these lines in our Internet logbook.
Within a radius of hundreds of nautical miles there is no electricity, telephone or internet. So time is not important here in Suvarow Atoll.
Sunrise and sunset determine the daily rhythm.

Countless "tear-up" sharks circle our ship day and night like curious young dogs. However, when we jump into the water, they shyly retreat into the deeper blue.

Even if we feed fish waste from the boat, we hardly manage to touch their sand-paper-like bodies. (Young dogs are easier to pet :o)

Not far from our anchorage there is a place where manta rays come every day to be freed from parasites by small cleaner fish.
Majestic, yes seemingly weightless, like Starship Enterprise,
do your rounds through the clear water without being disturbed by us.

The Suvarow Atoll is a nature reserve and belongs to the Cook Islands and thus in turn to the "Protectorate" of New Zealand.
6 months a year, two "rangers" like Robinson and Freitag live here as self-sufficient on the island. They do "field research" and make sure that passing yachts abide by the rules.

Well, to be honest, compared to Robinson, they've got a bit of high tech at their disposal by now.
With the help of a small solar panel and an old car battery, they can generate some electricity.
Heinz, who arrived the day after us with his YapYum, installed a small radio on their "solar power plant".
As a thank you, they caught and cooked two giant coconut crabs for us.
Yes, that's exactly what freedom and adventure taste like.

I type these lines and look lost in thought at the sea, which breaks on the outer reef of the atoll. The next phone and the next internet is only about 1500 km southwest of here, in Tonga.

Now that you are reading these lines, the Suvarow Atoll is behind us and thus one of the loneliest and dreamiest places on our beautiful earth.