Hi all. Sorry we took so long to write. The hotspot in the harbor is down and get this, internet here is paid by the MEGABYTE! Ouch. We’ve already run through more than half our $36, but we figure the torture is almost over…our aimed-for traveler’s lodge in NZ has UNLIMITED BROADBAND WIRELESS INTERNET, so we’re hoping they come through with vacancies. We should know by tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I’ve been obsessing over the humpback whales in Rarotonga, which we can see from the seawall. The reef is very close to shore in Raro, leaving almost no lagoon to speak on on the north side of the island. That’s great for us because the mama humpbacks and their newborn babies can come very close to shore to rest. They come to this part of the Pacific every year to give birth in warmer waters, then travel back south later in the spring. Today while sitting at lunch at Trader Jack’s, a great seafood place on the wharf in Avarua, we saw three humpback blowing. We saw one poke her head out of the water, and another did a tail wave when diving. We’ve seen no breaching so far, but hope to catch some before we leave next week.

We’ve met some very cool American and Canadian surfer/sailors here on boats called Natural Mystic and One Flew Blue, and we’ve rented a scooter for Jason and I for the equivalent of $7 each a day. Awesome. If the weather holds, we hope to do a 4-hr cross-island trek tomorrow. Lots of elevation, but it’s punctuated with a waterfall at the end to cool us off. Then we ride the bus back to the wharf.