Where life revolves around the sea...
For countless generations, the sea has been an integral part of daily life in Pukapuka, with small boats used in the same way as the family car is used elsewhere. Every day men must venture out to fish to feed their families. They return with delicious fresh crayfish, crabs, tuna, wahoo and other fish varieties from the deep, bountiful ocean surrounding Pukapuka. Depending on fuel availability, small boats are also used to drop off and pick up people and needed supplies at the airstrip or from the rare, inter-islands cargo ship.
Many people I met only confirmed what I knew about Pukapukans - they love and excel at sport. Volleyball, cricket, athletics, boxing, soccer, weight-lifting, they do them all and many homes are proudly decorated with medals to prove their strong sporting abilities.
I met Tere Williams, a fit 50 year old with a shape and keen eye that attest to the fact that in his prime he represented the Cook Islands with distinction in boxing and Olympic weight-lifting. I also met a 20-year-old named Maria Tukia, who is also a national representative in many sports, while still being a devoted mother of a one year old boy and a keeper of her own taro patch.