Monday, September 29, 2008

We are hanging out in an lovely anchorage about 10 miles from Nieafu. We have met up with our Canadian buddies, Taran and Toketie again. We are getting lots of good visiting in as well as some fun in and on the water. We snorkeled the other day and yesterday I borrowed someone’s kayak and headed off for a paddle. The kayak does not have a skirt so when I got to another boat and leaned over to push myself off the boat, over I went. It must have been quite comical. I decided to see if I could get back into the kayak from the water. I managed to get on but could not balance myself well enough to get my feet in. It was about an 1/8 full of water. The poor fellow on the boat I went to visit had to help me haul up the kayak and empty it out. It was too heavy for me. I was very careful the rest of the trip to not tip over.
We went to a Tongan feast the other day. It was lovely. The kids did some traditional dancing, it was amazing that at the ages they were, about 10 to 16 that they had mastered the intricate hand movements that are a large part of the Tongan dancing. There were 2 boys who did some war dances and the clashing of their wooden staves made me wonder how many times they had mashed each other in practice. The food was delicious. There were over 60 people there and when we were lining up for supper Barry was panicking because it looked like there was not going to be enough seating for us at the tables where all the food was laid out. They brought in another table for us and we had more than any one, so we ate to our hearts content. The chicken which was wrapped in taro leaves and cooked in the underground oven was delicious. Everything was served in the traditional way with no silverware or dishes, so you ate with your fingers off of banana leaves and coconut tree stems as well as unripe papayas. Yummy
We plan to hang around here awhile longer and then move further south to the Ha’apai Group of islands. We hope to be in the Tongatapu Group about the beginning of November, planning to leave for New Zealand somewhere in the middle of Nov. Everyone is planning for the trip, trying to figure out when would be the best time, and the best angle to sail. New Zealand has very strict entrance regulations so provisioning is a challenge. You don’t want to have too much because you will just have to throw it our, and you want enough to make sure you get there with enough food. Fun, fun, fun! Hope all is well at home,