Leaving the ARC and the “Road” Ahead

We made the decision to leave the ARC as of Tahiti because the pace is just too fast for us at this point. We cannot sail from Fiji to New Zealand until after cyclone season, so we have until the end of October to enjoy all of the islands in between Tahiti and Fiji. Fortunately, there are several other boats who are jumping off of the ARC as well, so not only will we have greater opportunity to meet other cruisers, but we also have some folks we already know and like who will be traveling on much the same path. We are still trying to nail down which islands we will go to, but it looks like we will most likely take the northern route after the Society Islands. We were originally thinking we would go south to the Cook Islands, but the weather on that route is more volatile and you have to be ready to depart the one Cook Island we would have gone to (Rarotonga) if the weather gets bad—and there is really no other place to go. Also, despite the fact we have heard American Samoa is not very pretty and not worth the effort, we may go there to receive delivery of all of the kids’ school materials for next year so we can avoid the steep customs charges. Since we are American, we are exempt from the duty fees in American Samoa (at least we think so; we will have to confirm that). That little side trip will probably save us about $1,000. So, this means we will hit Suwarrow, American Samoa and then head to Tonga and Fiji. Prior to that, we still have several islands to go to here in the Society’s: Huahine, Tahaa, Bora Bora, Maupiti, and possibly some others. I already prefer the Society Islands over the Marquesas, so we will definitely be taking our time here. (The Tuamotus are also VERY high on my list of favorite places so far.)