good bye Tonga

tony zwig
Wed 26 Sep 2007 19:45




Good bye Tonga


It is now 7:30am Thurs in Tonga.  Yesterday at 9am we left our island idyll and weighed anchor for Fiji.  We exited the reef without problems using our “I see the bottom” method of navigation and had a pleasant sail until mid afternoon when another squall hit.  Fortunately Thom saw it and doused the sails.  I was below and felt a slight rocking and came up to hear the wind meter had hit 43 knots.  So much for pleasant sailing.  It seems we were on the edge of a trough or low line of pressure that is sending these squalls our way.  This persisted with building waves for 3 hours.  Then it slowly fell through 20 knots to 15 when I last saw it.  As the wind speed fell, the rolling got worse for a while because of the waves.  This morning when I came up at 4am we had 4 knots and the ocean is like a mirror.  We still have the same 4 knots and it is cloudy and grey.  Not very pretty.  Everyone and everything survived and we are still motoring.  Yeech!!! (figure that word out, spell check)

The village we left at Ha’avea really was special; everyone was busy with what to us, looked like limited activity, but it seemed to fill and fulfill the days.  We visited the new diesel powered electrification generator which only arrived 3 years ago.  We met the woman who operates and maintains it.  It looked not much bigger than our boat generator, but it does work.  Each house pays $5US per month for power from 6pm to midnight.  Extra hours are $12.50US per hour.  Generally only the church pays for this for meetings.

We are on our Babelfish rotation of 6 hour daytime watches and 2 hour night time watches.  So far no complaints.

We have to remember that Fiji is one hour behind  Tonga, but same day as Tonga. We will switch upon arrival.  Still trying to go to Suva notwithstanding existence of emergency measures.

We were able to buy batteries in the village.  Don’t know if they work yet.  I was chagrined to find my collection (about 35) of AA batteries was gone.  I assume it was the last crew.

We are doing more motoring on this leg than on any of the others, or even put together.  Oh well.   Tired from yesterday’s ride so going back to sleep.