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Tagged With: Tonga

August 2009 – From New Zealand

Dear Friends: Endings can be as emotion laden as beginnings. Saying farewell to our Tongan family was one ending, especially as we knew we might not see them again for some time. Our voyage from Tonga to New Zealand marked the end of a circumnavigation, one that began almost 20 years before when we’d set … Continue reading »

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Instrument Assisted Grounding

Shortly after leaving Nuiatoputapu, we learned that a 45-foot cruising yacht had gone aground on the reef at night near the entrance to the lagoon. By good fortune, two other yachts were at anchor inside the lagoon and heard the distress call. Also fortunately, the southeast winds that were such a nuisance to us, were a blessing for the grounded yacht as there was almost no swell at all where they hit the reef. Continue reading »

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Finding Your Boat in the Dark

There were over a hundred boats clustered on moorings or laying at anchor in Neiafu. This is the main re-provisioning spot in the northern Tongan Island group of Vav’au and a great place to enjoy café’s, book and DVD trading, musical jam sessions plus Friday night yacht races. (Someone called Vav’au “the Cruisers Playground”). Continue reading »

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April ’09 – Vav’au, Tonga

It was hard to leave Nuiatoputapu. The wonderful anchorage, the grand excursions Keine and her family kept creating the evening views of whales spouting on the far side of the reef. But we knew we would see Keine and her family again in New Zealand within a few months and, after two weeks here we were eager to have a reunion with the Tongan family in Vav’au which had adopted us many years ago. It turned out Keine is closely related to our family and in fact lived with them while she went to high school. She had played with her young cousin, a little girl named Lini. “I never realized it was you two who where her God Parents.” Keine told us. “You have to go meet her. She will be all grown up now.” Continue reading »

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March ’09 – Nuiatoputapu, Tonga

Can you go home again? As we put provisions on board at Apia we weren’t too sure. Our memories of Tonga, from our visit almost 23 years ago, were wonderful. We’d been “adopted” by a local family, sharing their lives, their celebrations for almost three months. When we left for New Zealand to escape from the cyclone season, we’d sailed with a boat full of handmade gifts and wondrous memories and left behind every thing we could possibly spare as gifts for our Tongan family. We kept in touch for several years, but as often happens, life got in the way. Gradually the letters faded. Continue reading »

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