position S018 39.500 W173 58.950
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Thu 14 Jun 2018 09:45
THURSDAY 14th June. Vavau Tonga .|
We managed to loose another day (not quite so lost as tuesday) but it has been swallowed up with admin.
We took the boat over to the fishing dock and after touching the bottom a couple of times we followed the gesticulating watchers and managed a rather ungainly docking tight behind the fishing boats, relying heavily on the helpful audience to catch lines and pull us in against the rough concrete wharf.
We hung there for an hour or so watching the little fish market and admiring the colourful catch of red snapper and parrot fish. An old fellow on his bike came by and offered to do our laundry, make us flags and fetch us bread. I sort of agreed to buy some curtesy flags and he returned shortly with 2 loaves of supermarket bread, which he gave us free, no doubt hoping to make good on the flag deal. Diana was unconvinced about his laundering ability.
Eventually a customs lady appeared producing a ream of forms to fill in, all with the same information but in differing order for different departments. She was joined by the quarantine man who enquired about our meat and fruit but made no comment about its suitability for Tonga or otherwise. The last visit was from the health inspector who arrived in an ambulance and had no forms but required $100 (Tongan). If the ambulance had been called for an emergency I wonder if our fee would still have given us preference. As we didn't yet have local currency I promised to drop the money at her office later and made a similar offer to the quarantine man for his $22.
We returned to our mooring, dinghied back to shore and sorted out money, laundry, checked out the market which has a good range of mainly imported fresh produce, as well as some nice baskets and carvings and jewelry and had a nice coffee at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the little town. The proprietor was helping someone with their Fiji paperwork which as to be done in advance of reaching Fiji so I asked if I could do the same and so filled in another ream of forms for him to scan and email to Fiji along with a picture of the boat.
The health inspectors office was in the hospital which turned out to be a good walk up the hill out of town but I was rewarded with a nice view of the bay one way and the green island the other.
The chinese appear to have a monopoly on the general stores all of which stock much the same stuff in varying quantities and the bars are run by either New Zealanders or Aussies. Whereas on Niue everything was shut nearly all the time and the market lasted only from 6am-8am, here everything is open all day and much of the evening as well. I assume that is the difference between a free economy and the heavily subsidised artificial economy of Niue. Having said that there is evidence of plenty chinese money being used for construction projects here.
The anchorage at Neiafu