Fri 15 Jul 2011 18:25
18.39 S 173.58 W
Finally crossed the International Dateline and on the same day as AUS!
We had a very uneventful sail from Palmerston to Niafu in the V'avau group of islands in Tonga. SE trades lightening and strengthening slightly, a few hours of motorsailing only. No fish, no sealife at all really and one other yacht - it's a mighty big ocean out there! Lots of reading, our Amazon "Kindle's" are really great for watchkeeping, with their own light to read by.
After clearing in - four very friendly Tongan chaps and many cold drinks later - we were able to step off the boat at the wharf to the local fruit and veg market and restock! We picked up a mooring off the Aquarium cafe and explored ashore. Several boats we had met in Papeete are here, although we are actually ahead of the bigger fleet yet to come. The Tongans we have met have been very welcoming and friendly.
Barb arrived yesterday afternoon (very pleased to have left Hobart's bleak weather behind her) and we enjoyed a good meal ashore last night, after watching the local friday evening yacht race around the bay from the cockpit. The temperature is very pleasant, less humid the further south we come, which makes life much more comfortable.
We are about to head in to the market and pick up a few supplies before we head out to the islands, armed with our "Moorings" cruising guide.We have certainly dropped the bar as far as provisioning is concerned - after searching for cold meats and cheeses yesterday, the best recommendation I could get was for a "lovely cheese" as I was shown a foot long block of Gouda in the fridge - that could be bought at the Fish Market!!! All meat is frozen in the supermarkets, it's a matter of raking through the chest freezers to see what you can find. Tonga is apparently known for it's pumpkins - at least we can stock up on those - and we did manage to find tonic yesterday after a long search, so all is not lost!