position S021 07.500 W175 09.700

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Tue 16 Oct 2018 08:46
Tuesday 16 Oct. Nuku Alofa

Still tied on the wall in the harbour and none the worse for it. There were two arrivals at 8.30am this morning, our Taxi tour driver as arranged and the Alaskan yachtsman who had decide it would be much better if we moved forward tight up against an rough old rusty whale watching boat so that he could squeeze in behind us and take on his fuel. So we re-arranged our warps and helped him tie up before setting off for our island tour. He had ordered the fuel for 11.30 so we arranged to be back at that time to take on any surplus fuel left over from his 400lt order.

That made our tour rather short of time and our driver made it up by driving considerably over the speed limit having told us that nearly all the imates of the prison were in for trafic violations- mainly speeding. Apparently anyone who is unable to pay the fine spends 3 months inside.  Not much later a pair of cops cunningly concealed beside the road clocked him and spotting them at the last minite he stopped, jumped out and walked back to talk to them. No problem he said on return- they were former pupils of mine.

It transpired that our guide was a teacher (maths & economics) before starting up his taxi, car hire and tour guide business. He also runs an auditing business on the side which did leave us wondering how he has time to snaffle yachts entering the harbour and ensare them with offers of cheap taxi rides before taking their cash with a  more realistically priced tour trip. His 3 children are also succesful- elder son a doctor in NZ, youngest daughter the 1st qualified commercial pilot from not just Tonga but any pacific island, and his middle son who being the middle one was always doomed to be less ambitious (not scientifically proven I assume, but struck a chord dear middle son) and is happy managing a laundry business in Tonga while fathering grandchildren by various mothers.

Anyway he managed to narrowly avoid slower traffic, dogs and small children wandering in the road, and showed us the main sights of Tonga Tafu.  The Abel Tasman landing point, the blow holes (very impressive), Captain Cooks landing point, the Stonehenge (better engineered than ours with forked joints but only one pair of posts with lintel),  and not least the unique 3 headed coconut tree!

Back at the dock for fuel we took the last 40 litres off the Alaskan which topped us up nicely.  A quick lunch and the tour continued with visit to an impressive cave full of stalagmites and tites
and with a lovely clear freshwater pool at the base for a refreshing swim.  On the way back to town he had to pick up another couple from the airport. A Danish pair who were on a midlife gap year and making a 3 month tour of pacific islands, New Zealand and Australia. He having sold his business, she being a nurse. It sounded like they were quite keen to get back to home comforts but still had a few  islands and NZ to conquer.

We blew last of our Tongan dollars on beer and trinkets from the market before returning to OR. Provisioning tricky because we aren't sure how long the passage will take, and New Zealand customs will confiscate any fresh produce on arrival. Hopefully my new fishing lures will come good if we have miscalculated in a negative way. Alaskan next door thinks the weather looks good for a straight run through with no stopping at Minerva reef. We are rather looking forward to Minerva so will have to decide if the stop is worth risking an easy passage right through.

The Alaskan declined an offer of beer as he was too busy meticulously preparing for the journey. He has owned his boat for 42 years and she looks as good as new. I am very jealous of the result but not so much the effort that goes into keeping her looking so fine. I have been working on removing black smudges but I have to admit we do look our age (at least two of the 3 of us anyway).

Blow hole (not with the pink cardi)


3 headed coconut tree