Penrhyn Cook IslandsThe Penrhyn Cook Islands
Penrhyn's 280 square kilometer large blue colored laguna is so vast that from Omoka, the administration centre, only the top of the Tautua Cathedral can be seen. Archipelago people are ignoring them when diving for fish. Now, with 150,000 cultivated pearls already suspended in the lake and an egg farm near Omoka, the number of pearls is growing every single working day.
The name Penrhyn comes from the English vessel Lady Penrhyn, which came in 1788, although one of the Polynesians is Tongareva. Mythical superhero Vatea caught Penrhyn from the ocean with a catch lured with a slice of meat from his own thighs. By 1863, four local Penrhyn missionsaries were recruited to recruit their community for $5 per capita for Peruvian slave traders and sails with them to Callao as supervisors for $100 a months in the hopes of getting enough cash to construct a new school!
Penrhyn was gratefully called the "Island of the Four Evangelists" by the blackbirds. Penrhyn is now the only Cook Islands without the Ariki. It has a good pristine harbour, one of the few in the Cook Islands, and ships can sail into the Laguna through the Taruia Passage, just above Omoka, to dock at the Omoka shipyard.
A tank farm was opened here in 1995 for vessels that patrol the fishing areas of the Cook Islands and Kiribati (Penrhyn is nearer to Christmas Island than Rarotonga). Rarotonga administration's roadmaps have been rejected because various grassroots groups are competing for clout. Penrhyn produces delicate handmade pastel and pearly treasures, and visitors can buy kitchenware, cutlery, dried battery, ropes and small artisan and beaded anchor.
In 1942-1946, US troops invaded Penrhyn and constructed a huge airport at the southern end of Omoka, about five kilometres from the present town. Aluminium from the wreckage of a four-engine Liberator bomb called Go-Gettin' Gal was used by the island' s inhabitants to make ridges and not much remains, except for three motors near Warwick Latham's home and a forth motor in the town.
You can see a number of precast basements from the 1940s and a basecamp that in the early 60s helped Britain and America carry out atomic testing on Christmas Island. Penrhyn is used as a basis for the control of the activity of foreign fishery battles.
Rarotonga Air operates a weekly flight from Rarotonga (1,365 km) to this northernmost Cook Isle. Air fares are high, also because of an excessive land charge imposed by the islander. A number of locals run guesthouses in the centre of the town of Omoka to welcome people. It is also possible to rent a home and Air Rarotonga can help with the arrangement.