The Tokelau Expedition

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I’m not sure where to begin here as the last five days have been exceptionally trying from a traveler perspective and a lot has happened; but in fact very little has happened. Let me try to clarify what that means and talk about my disorganized, botched, delayed, misled, trying, grueling, shocking and ultimately exhausting and relatively unfulfilling expedition to Tokelau.

I booked this trip direct with this Kiwi guy named Graham out of the Cook Islands who runs a company called Pacific Expeditions. He essentially is a middle man between the passengers and the boat as he in theory works with boat captains. In my case it was the SV Southern Cross. I had heard nothing but awful things about dealing with this man. His name has been bad throughout the travel world and the Pacific but people had needed him because there was only one ship that went to Tokelau and also to another small island that is very remote called Pitcairn. He was explained to be a guy who has had complaint after complaint filed against him and his business practices. I had and have heard this from several sources.

In fact, as the story goes, I was in Samoa staying at a cheap hotel with no AC and plenty of cockroaches called the Seaside Inn as it was located very close to the marina and some restaurants. So my plan was to spend 2 nights there and then head out on the boat the morning of June 9th-14th with a side excursion to a place called Swains Island which is how the trip was advertised and how I was explained over the phone and emailed how the trip would go. Swains is a very remote island than very few people have been to and it is a big draw to travelers such as myself. Of course the main draw was Tokelau as it is one of the hardest TCC countries to visit.

The night before I was set to leave I started chatting with an older Dutch guy staying at my hotel and he had just gotten off the Southern Cross a week prior as he was supposed to do a trip to the Line/Phoenix Islands. I was surprised. Apparently, the engine on the Southern Cross gave out and they were forced to go to Tokelau for a few days. After they had paid nearly $4000 each for just the boat portion of the trip, never mind the flights getting to Samoa, they were forced to take a cargo ferry back from Tokelau because of the poor condition of the Southern Cross and pay NZ$278 out of pocket.

So the Dutch guy is telling me horror stories about the boats condition and pointed out to me that it had been anchored in Apia (Samoa) harbor for a week. Mind you, I was never notified there was an issue with the boat and that the trip would certainly be delayed if not cancelled. So I asked if the Dutch guy had contacted Graham and the Dutch man started ranting and raving about what a con man, crook and assorted other not kind words he was. I was starting to get nervous because of the warnings I had heard about Graham and his company before hand from some of the world’s foremost travelers. Anyway, I went to bed and decided to hope he was wrong and not be pissed until I heard for myself because if there was a problem I was sure we would have heard by now as we were to leave the next morning.

So I wake up around 8 to meet the boat at 10 to head out. I checked email and I had an email from Graham received at 7am saying there was a problem with the boat and it may not go out. So I am pissed initially because he knew about the problems a week earlier and didn’t notify anyone. This is bad and completely inconsiderate because some of the 7 people came down to Samoa specifically just for the Tokelau boat. People like me who were already down here, had essentially planned their whole trips around this one Tokelau trip and some notice of the impending delay or cancellation would have been appropriate so people could’ve made alternative arrangements because this whole trip was geared to be done Monday as we were told initially. This was so people could catch their connections out Monday night to LA, Auckland or Fiji. So this pissed everyone off a lot.

Needless to say the boat didn’t go off the 9th and all subsequent emails to Graham were not immediately returned although he knew everyone would be freaking out. Mind you, he always responded immediately when I was thinking of booking the trip and about sending him the money or credit card. Any emails regarding refunds or any change were not even addressed.

The bottom line is this regarding him and his company from what I have been told by the ship captain and others. He essentially runs a Ponzi Scheme with these. He takes the money for trips in the future and spends the money now. He neglects to adequately and timely fund his ship captains who loathe him and he offers no customer service and seemingly has no recourse as he is hidden away on the Cook Islands. Now that his contract with the Southern Cross is up, he will no longer have a consistent business unless he can get some other ship into taking the routes. That’s doubtful as they have a tough time breaking even at all even without splitting percentages and certainly if they asked the Southern Cross for a recommendation or any customers they would not good a good one. So when Southern Cross starts operating independently to Pitcairn it will be without the services of Graham. People who mistreat people, both customers and the captains, do not deserve any business and I hope nobody will ever book with Pacific Expeditions.

I volunteered to write this on behalf of the people supposed to be on my boat. One other thing, the Southern Cross can fit 5 passengers, 6 if there is a couple because there is one bed big enough for 2 although incredibly uncomfortable. We had seven booked and no couples so it would have been a complete nightmare on top of the nightmare that already was with the delay. Luckily, for those of us that sailed, 3 people dropped out because of anger toward Graham, Pacific Expeditions and the situation that had ensued. We were not guaranteed of making it back Monday for our connections and even if we made it to Tokelau, we would only have 2 hours maximum on the island we paid $1900 each to visit.

Swains is another story and something that we were completely lied to about. Swains was advertised as a stop for 4 hours on the tour and I spoke with Graham about it personally on Skype and he said he had this deal worked out and we would definitely land on it etc. When I asked Paul, the very nice and experienced captain of the Southern Cross, he said he had never been told a stop at Swains was even an option and we would certainly not be going. This lie was the breaking point for many and some people just dropped then and decided to try to recoup their money back. Non-performance and lying to customers is a serious offense and again, I hope nobody ever books with Pacific Expeditions in the future.

Now to the actual trip.
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So as not to sound too angry or frustrated, I will sum up the 45 hour bouncy and stormy trip to Tokelau as so…I spent the first night puking from seasickness and the second day I was fine. We hit strong headwinds the third day and arrived late at Tokelau at 6:20pm. We got off the main yacht onto the small dinghy to go ashore. When we arrived, the “immigration officer” waiting for us told us to go home because we arrived after 6pm and Graham had guaranteed our arrival apparently and the guy on Tokelau dislikes Graham too so he decided to take it out on us.
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Naturally, we were pissed as we had taken two days of hellish sailing and all the anguish to get there and this man named Zak is telling us to go home and he cannot let us on the island. Long story short, we talked our way on for 20 minutes but he wouldn’t let us walk the village or the island and we had to stay at some port tent thing where we landed. He actually told us we were “worthless to him” because they weren’t making money off of us because we weren’t staying the night. The original plan was we would spend one or two nights before the delay.

Zak (I have a picture but for some reason it won’t upload) was a serious dick and was clearly trying to show his island authority and refused to stamp our passports. We tried to reason with him and he just kept telling us to take it up with Graham etc. Finally, the nicest man ever and one of our passengers, Steve, talked him into giving us stamps and we would go. So we followed him up to his office and he begrudgingly stamped our passports. We all nicely and appreciatively said thanks. He then demanded NZ$20 from each of us. In order to get the hell out of there and avoid further conflict we paid and left in shock and disbelief. What a shakedown and I am still pissed about it!

Honestly, all he had to do was smile, say hello and be nice and this could have all been avoided as we were so happy to have made it after 2 days on water, especially given the circumstances. But Zak chose to be a real dick and we all have extremely negative feelings toward Zak, Tokelau and of course Graham and Pacific Expeditions.

So basically, for $1900, we got lied to by Graham and treated like shit by Zak on Tokelau where we spent a whole hour and a half where most, if not all time was spent pissed off at Zak and Graham and trying to convince Zak to let us on the island. Oh yeah, plus the shakedown. It’s unfortunate because as you can see from some of these pictures, the people and the kids were awesome and made us feel welcome.
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Then we had the privilege of turning around and going 39 hours back to Samoa and waiting for customs for two more hours as they took their sweet time. Luckily we got to shower at the marina while we waited because after 5 days on that boat in deplorable conditions, we needed it.
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I am here now in Fiji which I love to relax, sleep and chill out. I am very happy to be out of both Samoa and American Samoa-neither of which I enjoyed although perhaps I associate them with the frustration of the situation but that happens sometimes. I wanted Tokelau to be a special trip. However, the only things I realized are that seasickness is all mental and you get over it quickly; I can handle a 5 day boat trip again for when I do Pitcairn and others at some point; there is really nothing to do on a small yacht in the middle of the ocean; and that my three co-passengers were extremely interesting and very well traveled. I guess you would expect that for a trip to Tokelau.

However, this story about Pacific Expeditions and the way they handled this situation and so many others needs to be told. Think twice and three times about booking with them. I hope I can get my money back. When the Southern Cross does go solo later this year, book with them directly as Chrissy and Paul are awesome. The boat certainly isn’t perfect, clean (Chrissy don’t be mad at me!) or even that nice so go with your eyes open (don’t believe the misleading luxury looking pictures on the PE website-another example of Graham misleading us) and try to grasp the vastness of the Pacific Ocean because it is a special place.
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Comments

  1. Great report on the voyage, Lee. Sorry to hear you spent 5 days sailing roundtrip to get less time on the island then it takes to watch a movie, but it was what it was. Arriving at night is not exactly ideal either. You weren’t greated with a roasted pig or crabs the size of lobsters (as one TCC guy said he was), but you made it happen anyway. This report just adds to a never-ending line of others that will put them out of biz.

  2. William says:

    That sounds pretty awful and that guy sounds like a real ass, both guys actually

  3. At least the kids are cute!

  4. Thanks and ya it was ultra frustrating and I am just happy to be chilling in Fiji a few days before starting to move around again.

    Erica the kids were adorable and everyone but the one guy was really nice but he was so bad that ruined for the whole island

  5. Actually I meant that the guy said they had crabs the size of basketballs on the island, not the size of lobsters like I said above, that didn’t make any sense. haha.

    Anyway, so you’re heading to Tuvalu next right? There is no better city name then Funafuti, Tuvalu.

  6. Whatever the size, we didnt see or get any! Tuvalu next week, Solomons first

  7. Hi Lee, I have traveled with PE before. They are awful I couldn’t agree more. I felt like I got completely shafted and misled regarding several factors. I have also heard horror stories from several sources. It’s stupid on his part because the people that will use his boats are some of the most traveled people and they are a small community who chat with each other about matters like these. It’s good news that the boat seems to be breaking away from Graham. Good luck and good post.

  8. I have also dealt with Pacific Expeditions and Graham and had a terrible experience. I did mention that to you beforehand. I hope to see you at the TCC meeting soon.

  9. That is very disappointing about your trip. It should’ve been wonderful. I have also heard poor things about that operator and I hope you will try and visit again sometime in the future. I was particularly surprised about how you were greeted when you did arrive on the island. Good luck on the rest of your trip and with the Solomons in particular as they are very interesting.

  10. You ever going to do a little write-up on the Samoan Islands or are you just over it at this point? Don’t blame you if you don’t. Have fun in Fiji man.

  11. Hi Lee and thanks a lot for returning my email questions about Eastern Europe, the info helped a lot and it looks like I will be including Belarus and Poland in the trip!

    It looks like you had quite a diverse group on your boat so hopefully that was interesting and made up for the awful situation it sounds like you endured. I probably would have left the boat too and I feel awful for those that did leave. I hope they get their money back. That man sounds like an awful person and even worse businessman-very short sighted.

  12. Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate the emails and comments.

    Laurie, I will try to make the ones in NY starting this Fall and in LA in December but I don’t know when they are yet.

    Ryan, not sure yet…I may if the weather here in Fiji doesn’t improve but I have just been sleeping mainly as I barely got any sleep the previous week…although the write up would be negative for both and American Samoa in particular was shockingly filthy.

    Becky, I am really glad your itinerary seems to be working out. Let me know if you have any specific questions but the train from Minsk is definitely your answer there and you should have plenty of time and I hope you will make it all the way to Krakow and the concentration camps as they shouldn’t be missed.

  13. Lee, we have a common friend Michael who sent me this story you wrote because I was thinking of booking with PE next year as well. Thanks for the candor and you have convinced me to look for alternatives to PE. Perhaps I will see you on the Pitcairn trip sometime soon.

    Eric

  14. Deborah says:

    I feel terribly for the people who went all the way down to Samoa and were not able to go. That must be devastating for them. It sounded pretty bad and I would have opted off the boat as well. I hope they ge their money back. That guy Graham sounds like a real asshole and I hope he gets no more business as a result.

    You are right, you cannot treat people like that especially when they put so much time, effort, commitment and money into something. People get what they deserve.

    It also sounds like the boat was a disaster as well but the tour company has to let people know there was engine trouble so people can make alternative plans. That’s just common decency and basic good business practice.

    Personally, if that was the toilet, I could have never done the trip, LOL

  15. That is some story and I am getting angry just reading it thinking of how I would react in a similar circumstance. I take it you won’t be going back to Tokelau! When you go by the Cook islands you should pay that guy a visit!

  16. I just googled their website and the pictures of the boat and the inside look nothing like you describe. The “bathroom” certainly doesn’t look deplorable like it does in your picture. That does seem like false advertising.

  17. Wow!

  18. Captain Canada... says:

    Are your shorts really pink?

  19. Real men wear pink kid! Canadians…

  20. Hi Lee,

    I am sorry to hear you had the same problems than we had with Pacific Expeditions, but you wrote:
    ” I had heard nothing but awful things about dealing with this man. His name has been bad throughout the travel world”.
    Why did´t you take it for true???

    We would have been so thankful for knowing the facts before in 2008- a nighmare trip would not have been made and paid for…

    We were passengers of the RV Bounty Bay in December 2008 at the Marquesas- what a swimming wreck.

    Graham lied at us, the vessel was indescribable, the boat had a delay of some days; of course, WE payed the extra days in Nuku Hiva, we had to pay for the food another time, we even had to pay the airfare for his deckhand Gary, a great guy, we didn´t want to betray, because Graham promised his own employee to be back at home for christmas and did not care…

    If you think, it cannot get worse, check this:

    “Another company will soon be seeking a license. Pacific Air Expeditions, owned by Dr Graham Wragg and wife Ulamila Kurai Wragg , aims to operate a small eight-passenger twin engine plane that will cater for locals as well as providing an outer island eco-tour service to visitors.”

    http://www.pipso.org/pipso-news-press-releases-details.php?show=162

    Imagine a plane owned and operated by PE…

    the “Bounty Bird” ;O)))))) *lol*

    Quote:
    ” With us you should ‘expect the unexpected’…
    this is what we call ‘real adventure travel’ .”

    I know by experience, what the name Wragg stands for…
    it is NOT quality, reliability and customer support.

    Somebody should warn the future passengers and the authorities.

    All the best to you

    Jana, another of the innumerable Bounty Bay victims

  21. Jana, thanks for that detailed and brutal account of your experiences and I would never fly an airline owned, operated or having anything at all to do with him. He has proven to be an awful person to work with who is totally untrustworthy and has no decency and feelings toward others. I can’t believe that story about Gary the deckhand. Also, the Bounty Bay is notorious for being awful and very slow. I know another guy who was stuck for a week or so en route to Pitcairn bc essentially the boat was falling apart and stopped working. There was little recourse and no refunds while the people had to spend an unscheduled and surely expensive week in the Marquesas or in French Polynesia.

    I should have listened to the stories I heard beforehand but I basically figured how bad could it be and really wanted to get to Tokelau. I had heard much worse things about the Bounty Bay than the Southern Cross and I spoke with Graham a few times and although he lied about the route (Swains) and the boat condition etc, he had convinced me it would be OK. Big mistake again and it was the single worst travel experience of my life and I am still very angry about it.

    It has been about a month now since I mercifully got off that shitbox of a boat and I still think about it often with utter disdain and hatred as do the others who were on the boat with me. I feel bad for all who have dealt with PE and Graham in general and again, I am happy their business is essentially through and I hope it never starts up again.

  22. Hi Lee,

    you wrote:
    “I am happy their business is essentially through and I hope it never starts up again.”

    On their website they plan trips for 2011 and even 2012…

    I will try to make an effort and contact the travel authorities of the Cook Islands because they should know what happend to all the customers of PE,
    and Graham Wragg and Pacific Expeditions are using them (“Tourism Cook Islands Acreddited” ) to appear trustworthy.

    Nothing is more far away from reality.

    All pepole having experiences with this company should contact them…

    Btw, you planned 5 days on your tour, our was two weeks on this boat ( scroll down pls ):

    http://www.cowries.info/galleries/marq08gallery.html

    Kind regards
    Jana

    • Ivan Purvis says:

      Hi Jana,

      Your efforts work, Graham is not allowed to operate a commercial vessel in Cook Island waters and basically he ran from Rarotonga to go live in Fiji… He is still up to his old tricks though… I ahve just taken over a company here in Rarotonga which owned the Southern Cross and actually I was considering to take some of Grahams expeditions on our new Yacht the Eastern Star. There is no way I would after reading these blogs and many others what a cretin this guy is!

      Cheers,
      Ivan

  23. Hey Jana, as I said, he operates an illegitimate business where people are lied to, it is false advertised and he treats people like crap and as far as I know there is no contract, certainly not with the Southern Cross per what the captain himself told me on the trip. He despises Graham and swore he would never work with a man like that again. I highly doubt he got another boat either as who would sign a contract with him.

  24. Brian Cleaver says:

    “What goes around comes around” and one day Graham is going to be served with his.
    As a past participant/payee of an excursion aboard ‘Bounty Bay’ to the Marquesas Islands, I have first hand experience of the actions of both Graham and the skipper ‘Kurt’. I vividly recall one very serious incident when our so called experienced skipper decided to put the vessel in reverse whilst three divers were at the back of the boat endeavouring to climb aboard, myself being one of the three. I can not repeat in this medium the words I verbalised upon boarding the vessel.
    If there was ever a ‘life changing event’ in my 61 years, the Marquesas Dive Trip was it. The lies, the incompentency of both the Skipper and Wagg, the broken promises of financial refunds of having to puchase the bulk of our own food, and having to purchase an internal flight to enable us to catch our flight home. Our dive itinerary went out the window on day one.
    I sincerely hope that in the very near future someone who has the capacity will call his tune and have him stopped before someone is seriously injured, or worse.
    At a guess, I doubt Graham has one truly satisfied customer.
    Signed BC

  25. The mere mention of Graham’s name makes me wanna puke! Thanks for your comment.

  26. In May 2011, 10 people — including myself — went off to the remote atolls of Palmerston, Suwarrow, Nassau and Pukapuka on board of the SV Discovery (former name Bounty Bay). The boat was a victim of the negligence of his captain, Dr Graham Wragg from Pacific Expeditions Ltd. and the whole trip has been a disaster, except from the kindness and hospitality of the islanders we visited. Very little fresh food, filthy boat, no radar, no sextant, insufficient safety rules. One advice: never, never travel on this boat. You can read a full account of the story on my blog, “îles lointaines” — use the translation button —

    http://ileslointaines.blogs.courrierinternational.com/archive/2011/06/08/iles-cook-le-bateau-du-capitaine-crouille.html#more

  27. Yes I have heard that he renamed the Bounty Bay, the discovery after an alleged fixing up but I don’t believe that one bit bc he would never put the money up. I read the blog and nobosy is going to buy the Bounty Bay either after all the disasters that have been caused by it. Plus it is an awful boat and very slow and breaks down all the time.

  28. Alan Dean Foster says:

    Dear Lee (and everyone who commented);

    As someone who is often asked for travel advice and who has written about it for various magazines and in books (see my recent PREDATORS I HAVE KNOWN: Open Road Media), situations like this make me thankful the web was developed. My trip to Tokelau will now utilize one of the regular cargo vessels, and the Phoenix Islands will wait until a proper organization makes the journey possible.

    My thanks.

  29. Thanks Alan and yes please never use Pacific Expeditions…I have heard they renamed their old shitty boat from the Bounty Bay to something else and are trying to market it as safe when it’s the worst vessel in the Pacific as anyone will attest who was on it.

  30. Hello Alan,

    I am so greatful, that our extremly awful experiences with Pacific Expeditions, Graham Wragg and whatever his boat is called now ( MV Bounty Bay or SRV / SV Discovery ) saved you from going through an as frustrating tour.

    It makes me as thankful that the web was developed.

    I will not stop to spread the word how we were treated and fooled. The airticket for one crewmember was never paid back and so many more things, which are just inconceivable.

    Always safe and enjoyable trips from now on for all of us.
    Jana

  31. Chrissy & Paul are really not awesome.
    They were the “hosts” on a PE trip after they trashed the Southern Cross in a storm and the old decrepit Bounty was salvaged from Tahiti to cover. The said two were hopeless! No meals provided, Bounty filthy and not cleaned, vessel broke down mid ocean including both engines at one stage. GW is a marine engineer and managed to get the vessel to Apia eventually.
    Apart from all that the paying company and the experience was awesome.
    However, don’t ever use either PE or Southern Cross!!!

  32. Anthony says:

    Boy o boy,
    I had planned to visit the Phoenix island on a pacific expedition trip, on a steel catamaran according to the website. The trip is supposed to be 18 days and cost $3900, after reading about Wragg? and his attitude I think I’ll give it a miss. Any one out there with any comments on the current day operation.

    Anthony

    • Ivan Purvis says:

      Hi Anthony,

      I don’t know how relevant this is to you now but yes Graham some how is still up to his old tricks… I have just taken over Sail Rarotonga which owned the Southern Cross (now sold and we have a new yacht the Eastern Star).. I was actually considering to work with Graham but there is no way now after reading these blogs and the many many others out there. Just horror stories, unbelievable really!

      Cheers,
      Ivan

  33. Hi Anthony,

    glad to visit this side today just by chance.
    The former Bounty Bay is a steel catamaran- and you should avoid to make ANY Trip with Wragg or his company, if you read all the bad experience, his customers had made over YEARS now.

    I had a look on the website of Pacific Expeditions Ltd now- and yes this boat now named SRV Discovery is the former Bounty Bay.

    I wonder why they changed the name- because the world wide web is not forgetting or forgiving? ;O)
    Nomally you do not change boat names…

    They show “happy passengers Pitcairn Is. March 2011″- lol
    Wragg never paid the money, his company ows our group, e.g for his crew member´s flight ticket to be back at home for christmas,
    for longer accomodation on Marquesas, because the boat was delayed some days and many more things.

    We unhappy customers paid because this nice guy was let down and we were not the same than Wragg, letting us down in total.

    If you need photo proofs of the boat condition at our trip- let me know.
    And I have to mention, the webside made big promises at our time too. ;O)
    So I do not believe what the page shows…

    Kind regards
    Jana

  34. Anthony,

    here is a perhaps interesting link: http://www.ripoff-expeditions.info/index.html

  35. Simon W says:

    Sounds like sketchy affair. I was thinking of going on a PE trip, will defo give them a miss now. Did you ever get a refund from this joke of a guy?

    • I did not but I take satisfaction in this article has saved others the hassle of dealing with unscrupulous operators

      • Hi Lee! So sorry to hear about your trip to Swain and Tokelau Is. I was born in Samoa but my parents are from Tokelau, I was rasied in NZ but now lived in Australia. Zac needs a F#%&*K bullet, he is just as bad as Graham becauce that what he was like in our Tokelau office in Samoa, and i hope he bloody reads this because he’s my Gay foggot uncle. Lee in Tokelau the peoples there are very good, if someone heard or of what Zac was doing to you guy’s he would get his ass kicked. I will take this matter on further.
        Thank you for the feed back.
        A.Ioasa

        • Thank you Alatina…it was a terrible overall experience and made even worse once we go to the island as Zack was horrible to us. I have no doubt the islanders are great people in general but that guy was the worst. I have never been treated so poorly and all the other passengers will agree with me, I guarantee it.

  36. Same with me, Dr. Graham Wragg and his company Pacific Expeditions are still owing our group a lot of money.
    I spread the word as loud as I can to protect other people to go through the same DANGEROUS trip- hell like we did.

  37. Ron.Edwards says:

    I travelled with Wraggy on his former boat the Te Manu from Mangareva to Pitcairn returning 15 days later all as planned in 1998. The boat was small and there was only 2 Pax on board. All went okay except the auto steering packed on on return and we had to steer manually continually. Yes! even the only paying pax on the return leg. Me!! Little to no meals, and very small. O/A 32 ft. I was considering a return to Pitcairn next year with PE but obviously things are not well at present, and shall review my plans.

  38. Was thinking of planning a trip to the islands mentioned in 2014. After all that I have read, will not do so unless things have changed for the better.. Thanks again, Danny

    • Ivan Purvis says:

      Hi Dan & others interested in traveling to the outer Pacific Islands. My wife and I have recently taken over the operations of Sail Rarotonga. For the last 2.5 years Sail Rarotonga has been running local trips and trips to Palmerston, Suwarrow and further afield using the SV Southern Cross. Southern Cross is now sold and heading to New Zeland, we are launching a new yacht in a couple of weeks, the Eastern Star. She is a Formosa 51 in excellent condition and posses many creature comforts and safety equipment such as AC & Heating, 120 gal p/hr watermaker, 6kva genset continuous hot water system, full galley with large oven, coffee maker, microwave, full ocean going navigation and up to date safety equipment she is recently certified by Maritime Cook Island inspectors also.
      We will be providing regular trips to Palmerston Island, Atui, Mouke, Aitutaki. We are also very interested to do expeditions to Suwarrow, and the Phoenix Islands.
      Please feel free to contact us, we would be happy to take you on an adventure (not a nightmare)

      We hope we get to hear from you you soon.

      All the best
      Capt Ivan Purvis

  39. Maurizio Giuliano says:

    Thanks for the useful report… I have been looking into Pitcairn options for a while and this is all useful.

    However I did go to Tokelau and it was an excellent and smooth experience. It was about 2002 so don’t remember the details. But it was a Government boat from Apia, I had called them up in advance and booked by phone, was like $ 400 r/t. We visited all three islands and stayed overnight on the last one. Everyone very friendly.

  40. http://vimeo.com/72309410 trust me watch this if you ever think of using Pacific Expeditions, Southern Cross or Graham…the worst!

    • Ivan Purvis says:

      wow that is insane! Funny I have just taken over a company Sail Rarotonga, which for the past 2.5 years has been using the Southern Cross (had some serious work done to her since that trip), was thinking to do some voyages for Graham on our new Yacht the Eastern Star, but no way man he is a totally negligent human being. Thanks for sharing this video.

      Cheers,
      Ivan

    • Ivan Purvis says:

      Hi Lee these stories are just incredible … Thanks for sharing the video, very enlightening in deed!

      Cheers,
      Ivan

  41. Santiago says:

    Hello everyone,
    In June 2013 I met this canadian fellow named Ron Borstel who was taking Mr Graham Wragg to court, in Apia, Samoa, he wasn’t a passenger but a crew member in the SV Southern Cross, he first performed some carpentry work on the boat (which he said was not in proper condition to sail, even after all the work he did on it) and then, he was the vessel deckhand, sailing out of Rarotonga.
    Mr Wragg owed him money for his services and for material Ron had to buy himself in order to perform the repairs, and not only that, but Mr Wragg was illegally using the vessel to provide charting services to passengers without the proper license/permit.
    Ron was originally a lawyer, so he knew what he was doing when he took Mr Wragg to court. I had to leave Samoa before the 1rst audience but, by the time I left, he had a strong case. I was wondering if anyone knew of the outcome and the whereabouts of Ron -he was running out of money-.

    Has anybody heard anything from this or know Ron and can provide his contact details?
    Thank you very much.

    Santiago from Argentina (.[email protected])

    • Ivan Purvis says:

      Hi Santiago, Now I am not sure if this is the same guy, but I did hear about this story and I think things went a little sideways for Ron as it turned out he was traveling on a stolen passport and ended up in prison himself as he was wanted in Canada.. I know of this story as I am now running Sail Rarotonga which at the time owned the Southern Cross, which at this time was impounded by Samoan authorities due to the Canadian guy?

      Cheers,
      Ivan

      • Santiago says:

        Hey Ivan,

        I’m a bit shocked at your comment, I’ve tried to contact you through facebook (not sure if you are that Ivan Purvis). I’m doing some research here and trying to get in touch with Ron and didn’t expect to get that sort of news but never heard back from him… Is there anyone that I could contact that could provide further information on this?
        Hope you can help me (my e-mail is on my original comment).
        Thank you.

        Santiago.

  42. We are also searching for a vessel to visit Phoenix archipelago, but is not easy, we cannot find anything :(
    We have also found the new owner of Souther Cross, but the problem seem the vessel, not the owner or Capt.
    Can someone have some tips on who can do this charter on safe vessel ??

    Salut
    Fabri

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