The fishing boat Vision had to be called in to help guide the ship into port as the Port Authority tug Toa is out of action with mechanical problems until sometime in January.
After days of sheltering at the western side of the island off Arorangi, the Olomana entered port at 7am, with the Vision lending a hand because of increasing winds. The ship finally tied up at the main wharf at 9am.
After unloading much-anticipated cargo for Rarotonga, workers at Avatiu harbour loaded containers on board on Monday in preparation for the ship’s departure. However, winds picked up to 31 knots in the afternoon making it too dangerous for the ship to leave the harbour.
Harbour Master John Jessie said the Olomana was now scheduled to leave on Thursday.
The fuel tanker ship Boringia Swan will continue to wait off the west coast until the winds ease as forecast on Thursday, to take the Olomana’s place at the main wharf.
Meanwhile, mechanical parts for the Toa were airfreighted to Rarotonga last week. An engineer also arrived from New Zealand and repairs were now underway, said Jessie.
The 19-year-old tug broke down in September after suffering engine problems while helping to retrieve a fishing boat from off the reef at Arorangi.
Long-time residents said this week that the shipping delays were “up there” with the worst that had occurred over the years. In the past, some basic supplies such as onions and potatoes have run out before ships have been able to deliver essential cargo.