Maiwar slipped quietly into the lagoon at Penrhyn Island At 5 pm on Friday 9 December 2022 local time. This marked the completion of the first leg of Tom’s Pacific crossing.

Maiwar in the Omoka boat harbour, Tom on the right

Penrhyn (aka Tongareva) is the northernmost of the Cook Islands lying 540 nautical miles (1,000 km) south of the equator and 3,000 nautical miles (5,550 km) ENE of Brisbane.  To get there Tom rowed non-stop from Lima, Peru for 160 days to cover 4,750 nautical miles (8,800 km), as the crow flies, at an average speed of 1.24 knots.  Quite an achievement, to say the least, for a 23 year old who had never before rowed an ocean.  What’s more, Tom did this on his own terms.  He designed and built Maiwar – an unconventional vessel by today’s ocean rowing standards – expressly for this voyage.  It’s a timber vessel with few modern electronic aids.

Penrhyn, which has a reputation for its extremely friendly community, is 15 nautical miles long by 9 nautical miles wide with a population of about 220.  It has a shop, a bank, a post office, two hospitals, two schools, three churches and a usable WWII airstrip.  A cargo vessel brings supplies every few months on an irregular basis.  Previously a protectorate of New Zealand, it is now in free association (a technical term) with that country.  It’s governed by an Island Council that includes the mayor, elected representatives and appointed members.  Fishing and weaving are two of its prominent economic activities. The Shore Team thinks Tom will feel quite at home during his time there.

Tom and the Shore Team would sincerely like to thank the people of Penrhyn for welcoming Tom and ensuring his safe arrival.

This update is the last to be sent from the Shore Team while Tom is on Penrhyn. He will be updating you and the blog shortly with some tales from the Pacific.  We look forward to writing to you again as Tom’s time sheltering during the cyclone season comes to a close.

The Shore Team