position S021 08.300 W175 11.100

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Mon 15 Oct 2018 11:10
Monday 15 Oct. Nuku Alofa

A radio call to port control in the morning was answered surprisingly (I can't recall the last port that monitored the radio-possibly panama) and after explaining our dinghy problem we were invited to tie up in the small boat harbour.

I was halfway through a chore when I made the call, expecting no reply, so had to abandon my deck sealing (a particularly messy job that rewards extreme care with deposits of black goo in unexpected and unwanted places), and after a quick coffee we weighed anchor and made the short trip from the anchorage over to the harbour. Several boats were making a similar trip but fortunately for us everyone else was re-anchoring outside the harbour for a dinghy trip ashore. We however confidently broached the harbour entrance and looking around for potential walls to tie up against saw a man waving us into a convenient space directly ahead. With the strong wind blowing us off the wall we just managed to get for and aft lines attached before being blown into rows of fishing boats and we discovered our mooring saviour was not a customs official as I had presumed but a taxi driver keen for our business.

Assuming he was out to fleece us we chose rather to walk to the customs office some few hundred yards further down the harbour. It took a while to find the right customs office and then find the 2nd right office to pay harbour dues and then a third to get passport stamps. No-one was unduly concerned that we were missing the vital piece of paper from Ha'apais as if losing ones dinghy was a regular unremarkable occurance.

Back at the boat out taxi driver was waiting patiently for us and feeling guilty we accepted a modestly priced lift into town to visit the market and look around. After a nice lunch and provisioning in the impressive market we couldn't find our taxi so accepted a lift from a new driver who then refused our offer of money. As a business model the taxi sytem here bucks a trend-we are used to paying over the odds as tourists but it seems that here the tourists or maybe yachties in particular are treated with much deserved respect!

Our first taxi re-appeared back at the boat and we arranged a sight seeing trip with him in the morning. We also bumped into an american yachtsman who was eying our mooring space with envy as he has arranged a fuel delivery for tomorrow. The minimum quantity may be more than he can accommodate, hence there is a possibility of a top up for us if we let him raft off.

With this wind the wall is kept out of harms way and although the ropes are tight an overnight stay hopefuly will be secure and quiet.