At 9am local time (gmt+13 or Toronto+17
hours) we tied up at the Niafu town wharf in Va’vau, Tonga. We
cleared customs, immigration , quarantine, and health in a blistering 2 hours
and were then free to visit Tonga.
We fueled and watered up and washed the boat next to the Moorings setup and
then went to the mooring which will be babelfish’s home until September.
This is really anend of the world place. Also maybe out of time, or just
so far away. Everyone gets along, local Tongans and white Aussis and
Kiwis, but references to someone’s “boy” is jarring, and
emphasizes isolation. The Aussis/Kiwis have this sort of colonial aura as
projecting they are bringing their better skills and ways to this
outpost. All very friendly. Also, references to not wanting to visit
not tourist towns.
We spent the afternoon in the yacht club; really a charming tumble
down bar with a beautiful view of the bay, boats and sun. It was empty
until 4 when the new Moorings crowd along with assorted old salts (all from Oz
or NZ) with their tall stories, showed up.
The town reminds me of Caribbean
roadsteads, a little decayed, except everyone seems genuinely happier and more
engaging. Babelfish has now completed 6500 miles from LA and nothing was
broken this leg. Hooray! We have about 1800 to go to get to New Zealand via Fiji, but that is for later in the
Babelfish will now have a well deserved rest.