lots happened on only 30 miles

tony zwig
Tue 25 Sep 2007 19:23




Lots happened in only 30 miles


AT 8 am we were ready to leave the Foa  Anchorage but had to wait for the water to drop with the tide so the little channel marker would reveal the path out of the reef.  At about 10 am it revealed itself and we successfully exited the anchorage.  This navigating without paper charts is tiring and at times anxiety producing(the electronic charts are difficult to get perspective and detail at the same time and I question their accuracy) but we are in the land of visual navigation as in , “I see the bottom now”  We charted a good course and had a nice broad reach until we noticed the depth metre giving us the odd reading of 18 meters in an area supposed to have 600.  So, given the above reservation about the charts, we dropped the sails so we could back off a reef if that was what we were approaching.  It turned out no reef but it was good we had dropped the sails because 10 minutes later we got blasted with a 40 knot squall which rode over us after 15 minutes.  I still don’t know where or why it came.  It closed in the visibility so we just floated as we wanted it to pass before we made landfall at our destination, Ha’afeva Island, 8 miles away.  We watched the rain, and hence squall of the radar and after it passed had an easy access to a good anchorage.

We visited a small village of 200 people who see a ferry once a week and are largely subsistance.  Very friendly.  About 6 churches and we went in the evening to hear some singing.  They don’t see non Tongans very much and were open and enjoyed practicing their English.  The only advanced schooling is through the church off the island.  We met an 18 year old girlwh gave us a tour and who had gone away to school for 4 years but her family wanted her back to help on the farm after when was 14.  She told Thom she didn’t like any of the men in the village.  I cautioned Thom that this may be his last port of call if he finds himself introduced to the father.  A quick pasta pesto dinner was had.  We were not sure whther to anchor on west or east side of the island butevening was calm enough I think it didn’t matter.

It is now 6am Wednesday.  I don’t know when this will get out to the blog as I can’t get the satellite connection just now.