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Niuatoputapu, Tonga

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

NiuatoputapuSorry again for the sparse updates. It’s partially because the Internet is scarce and partially because there’s nothing really doing on these islands. I usually sleep at least 10 hours a day while we are at anchor and the biggest dilemma of the day is choosing between either rice or pasta with either corned beef or canned tuna for dinner.

Right now I’m in Niuatoputapu, Tonga. The name means “forbidden coconut.” This is the least populated-populated island that we’ve been to, with about 1010 people living here. In fact, there was a death here the other day so I guess the population is now 1009. The island is far away from the other Tongan islands and on the way from Samoa to Fiji. An 8 person airplane stops once a week and a supply boat comes about once a month, weather depending.

It was a two day sail here and a little rough. After the first day we switched to two hour shifts. The wind was on our nose and the constant crashing of waves over the bow somehow found their way into my cabin, through a crack maybe, and half my bed was soaked, amongst some other books in my cabin. Everyone and everything survived and dried.

Like usual, we planned on staying here only 3 days, but because of imperfect weather we’ve been here for over a week now. On top of that, we lost a day because we finally crossed the International Date Line. The time is the same as in Samoa, but Tonga moved themselves to the other side of the Date Line before the last millennium so that they could claim their kingdom as “the land where time begins.” (Samoa is UTC -11 and Tonga is UTC +13.)

The first night here we went to a potluck then watched a traditional dance recital at the primary school.

One day we hiked up to the summit of the island with another boat, Drina from Sydney, and took some photos.

When we’re exceptionally bored, we walk to the Palm Tree Island Resort. That’s the only hotel on the island. They have some cold beer. As you can imagine, there were no guests at the time. But Laura, the proprietor, has two couples arriving next week. There is a party there this evening that should be composed of the 4 other yachts anchored here. The hotel is actually separated from the main island by a lagoon so we can walk there at low tide or take the dinghy at high tide.

We were going to leave for Fiji (Suva) this morning, but the wind was too much, so hopefully we’ll leave tomorrow. One day, I’ll make it to Australia. Slowly, but surely.

Comments

  1. Mom Says:

    Very interesting. Can’t wait to talk to you. Take care. Love you.

  2. dad Says:

    Sean in alaska when you called.cell and email off and of having a great time

  3. dad Says:

    Good show. Let us know if you need a loan don’t forget thebunderberg .

  4. dad Says:

    Sean we will help with a direct ticket from australia to sf.come home direct. Love dad.

  5. Barry Holding Says:

    sorry to bother you, I’m trying to find Linda and Andy Thornton, Cormandel Quest a Nicholson 35, blue hull with red antifoul, longkeeler, who are in the area of Tonga before the Tsunami and we haven’t heard from them since I know this isa long shot but you haven’t seen tem or the boat.
    any info welcome

    manythanks

    Barry

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