Good Times in Tonga

So much fun and so little time to blog! The weather remains dismal: we’re going on our third week of clouds and rain; I think I’ve seen the sun for a total of 45 minutes in the last 16 days. But the good news is an informal flotilla of boats filled with cruisers under 40 pulled into Vava’u, so there has been a serious party vibe going on.

There is s/v Penn Station out of Washington, skippered by Wiki and Niki, crewed by Angie and Andre. Andre happens to be an energizer bunny of a human being and an expert spear fishermen and has been filling all of our ice boxes with midnight snapper and moon fish (he’s Australian, the names of fish are different there, so I’ll admit we really have no idea what we were eating). There is s/v Oceanna, skippered by Greg and Kaycee, a hilarious Canadian couple with zero sailing experienced who bought a catamaran sight unseen out of North Carolina and sailed it through the Caribbean and across the Pacific. There’s s/v Wairua, skippered by Megan and Andy, a Californian and a Kiwi, who have us hooked on kimchi and gave us our first kambucha scoby. There is s/v Rafiki, a boat from British boat skippered by four friends inspired to cross the Atlantic and Pacific while happy houring in a pub one day.

There is s/v Arbutus, skippered by Paul and Sandy, a Frenchman and a Canadian. Paul happens to be an expert rock climber, so we went back to Swallow’s Cave where he scaled the exterior cliff and jumped through the skylight, dropping 50 feet into the water below.

We’ve spent the last week together cruising from Port Maurelle to Hunga, an island on the eastern side of Tonga. We snorkled, discussed plans for heading to New Zealand, and are quickly becoming cruising family. Dominic and I lingered an extra day, hiking to a deserted beach on Hunga’s southern side.

We’re all in Neiafu now, enjoying the Tongan regatta—bonfires, barbecues, weather seminars, pizza parties, sailing races, who knows where the week will take us!