Balder and Joost, both live in Amsterdam when they're not travelling the world. While they know each other for years, it was still a big challenge to travel together. Preparation of the Tokelau Voyage started months ahead by choosing the right schedule, and the right time to go. They prepared and packed and planned to visit an island resembling Fantasy Island or Bounty Island? (no link to the chocolate bar). The diary starts in Apia, capital of the country of Western Samoa.
Part 1: Apia (Samoa) - The start of our Journey
Travelling from Amsterdam to Apia is relatively easy. You just have to be patient! You simply take an airplane to Bangkok (12 hours), then to Auckland (13 hours) and then to Apia (4 hours) and then you're there! In Paradise - STEP 1. The great and funny thing is: you travel in time! Leaving on monday night and arriving on sunday night (the day before) is an experience by itself. This is because of the International date line between New Zealand and Samoa.
The temperature strikes you directly. We got three nights to get used to the 12 hours of time difference. Not knowing what to expect on the boat to Tokelau, and the fact that I didn't know if the satellite connection would work, gave me the thrills of excitement.
In the hotel room of Aggie Greys in Apia we tested the router and the satellite modem. The local loop between the modem and router was working fine. Also the configuration in the router looked great. For our mission we forgot to bring some network cards. While these normal ethernet cards were for sale in Bangkok for only 5 US Dollars, they were sold in Apia for 170 US Dollars! What a rip of!
On wednesdaymorning we brought all the equipment with two taxis to the boat, close by the hotel. The boat was leaving on time, since a new captain, captain Dough, was joining the trip. Also an important delegation from the New Zealand government was on the boat, so everything was arranged nicely.
Thirty-two hours later we saw land: Fakaofo was in our eye vision! During the stay on the boat we enjoyed some food, each others company (we were with more then 60 people sailing) and already a lot of the local culture: hanging around and enjoying life.
After a short visit to Fakaofo we travelled overnight to the farrest atoll: Atafu. We arrived there on friday morning and were received warmly by the Faipulu (the boss of the atoll) and the Council of Elderly (the atoll government). My goal was to give a presentation to them about the use of the Internet of the Island and of the Dot TK domain names. That all went very well.
After Atafu we went on to Nukunonu, the second atoll on the trip.