Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Tue 26 Nov 2013 23:57
We went ashore, having picked our way through the reef, following the pale blue bits.
The Police Station mother and baby.
Fale Polisi – Police Station.
Next to the police station, we found the main road. Over to the right was an ongoing water-lake-project funded by the Japanese.
The main church we had seen on our way in, the old one and the bell tower.
Round the corner we saw a typical house, a rather smart church, that up close needed some TLC, but very cute inside.
Nomuka is known for raising up the greatest number of church leaders for the major Christian denominations in Tonga such as Rev. Sione Lepa To'a the former president of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, Rev. Seluipepeli Mafi and his son Rev Dr Feke Mafi as both former presidents of the Church of Tonga, and Pastor Tetileti Pahulu, a former president of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Apart from these former church presidents, there are also pastors (and former pastors), Christian workers serving under different denominations and parachurch organisations in Tonga and overseas.
By now we had a posse, led by Stanley (centre) who came with us to the lake.
To get to the lake we had to walk round the water-lake-project and passed a couple of expressive trees.
And a homestead or two.
Nomuka, is 7 square kilometers in area and in the middle is a large brackish lake (Ano Lahi), there are three smaller lakes - Ano Ha'amea, Ano Fungalei, and Molou. There are four to five hundred inhabitants who subsist on fishing, farming, and remittances from family members abroad. The island has a secondary school, two primary schools, a kindergarten and seven churches.
The Health Centre, pull back a sheet of corrugated iron that serves as a gate, or go over the style.
The islands biggest shop.
Nomuka is a small island in the southern part of the Haʻapai group of islands in the Kingdom of Tonga. It is part of the Nomuka Group of islands, also called the ʻOtu Muʻomuʻa. Boats are the only means of getting here and ferries leave weekly from Nukuʻalofa and Lifuka. There is one guesthouse on the island and three or four small fale koloa (convenience stores).
We followed the road along the sea shore and saw many ‘average houses’................
..............and a couple of posh ones too. The one on the right belongs to an architect who has an email address.
One of the schools looked very new, complete with netball court.
A ‘one careful owner’ a European-style grave marker of a local who died in 1911 and a shy little chap.
A gorgeous little fella.
Notable historic visitors include Abel Tasman, Captain Cook, Captain Bligh and William Mariner. The Dutchman Abel Tasman made the first European discovery of the island on the 24th of January 1643. A party went ashore to get water, and the description of the huge lake they saw leaves little doubt about the identification. Tasman called it Rotterdam island, after the city and major port in the Netherlands, and noted in his maps the indigenous name of Amamocka, a misspelling of ʻa Nomuka.
Captain Bligh and the Bounty spent three days wooding and watering at Nomuka in April 1789. The Mutiny on the Bounty happened the day after they left.
Time to pick our way back through the reef.
Talk about being arrested from sleep. At midnight we heard a clanking noise, very close by. Up we got and found the ferry anchoring next to Beez. By the time she had swung round we could hear laughter and chattering Mmmm.
Everything settled at anchor, cranes moving and boats being lowered into the water. A very loud ‘ping, pong – ping pong’ and the voice from any train station platform giving out directions. Little boats whizzed out to meet family or supplies and it was all over by two Marvelous.
ALL IN ALL AN ODD MIX
A BASIC ISLAND MAKING THE BEST