Area of Totality

Avarua, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Before we get too far away from the whole Cook island currency thing we should add an important afterthought. Not only is the money in this country VERY gender specific, it’s also incredibly friendly (no not like that). How friendly? Here’s an idea.

Here my friends is why it’s a good idea to travel during a global recession: everything is cheaper! So not only are things reasonably priced here in actual dollars, while we were there the New Zealand dollar was trading at about $0.80 US! Many of you may not be impressed with the idea of a $12.50 bottle of wine. Seriously, good ole 2 buck chuck will show up with 5 friends for that price but you forget that for the past several months we have been traveling in a place where a burger and a beer will run you $30. So to recap in the Cook islands they speak English, you can have tons of fun on foot or by scooter, it’s just as hot and just as pretty as Tahiti but with WAY less people oh and it’s about 30% cheaper here…and they have free banana wine tasting alongside the free good local beer tastings at the brewery. Just letting you know where your tourist dollar can go a lot farther.


The last thing we did in Rarotonga was see the solar eclipse. Look, so let’s make something real clear upfront so there is no confusion: There are some people who are all hard core for solar eclipses. They have societies, they have websites, they spend thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars a year flying around the world to see these little 3 minute astrological events. Specifically, they spend thousands of dollars on a round trip flight from the US to Rarotonga for no other reason than to spend another thousand or so to get on a semi-maintained island-hopping cargo ship for 24 hours where they will be sleeping on exposed on deck / drinking themselves blind in 15 foot seas puking their guts out in order to be in the “area of totality” (which sounds like a kill zone for a flying saucer if you ask Greg). We were there when they got back. It was not pretty but they all seemed quite happy. We were not in the “area of totality.” We were in the area of something like 97.5% coverage. So these other dudes spent all that money what they saw was exactly 2.5% better than what we got waking up early and sitting on land.

Tiffany was interested in this. Greg saw a partial eclipse in grade school and never got the magic in the whole thing. It’s the moon. In front of the sun. You want me to wake up before 9 am for this exactly why? Tiffany thought we should get up to see this amazing heavenly convergence. Greg was less than enthused.

Like we said, those people who spent the few extra thousand and a night puking their guts out sleeping on the weather deck of a cargo ship in 15 foot waves getting salt water sprayed all over them? Oh they got their full eclipse, above all those same clouds our 97.5% eclipse was happening.


Like this article? For more natural phenomena check out the waterspouts and “weather bombs” we got hit with in La Cruz, MX by clicking on Life on the Docks

Or for more on cheap foreign alcohol check out Tiffany’s tequila tour by clicking on Acting and Tequila Tours


About the authors

Greg and Tiffany are traveling around the world on sailing yachts and keep a video blog of their (mis)adventures. If getting pooped on by seagulls, opening coconuts with dull machetes, sailing past tornadoes and ukulele Christmas carols are for you, then check them out at!

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