A Party and a Ship Wreck

A Party and a Shipwreck

The “usual suspects” all turned up at a remote Tonga anchorage to celebrate Lucka’s birthday. Crews from five boats brought food and drink along with love and laughter to Furthur all to share with the birthday gilr. Mary Powell boasted baking a cake on #1 jet fuel (kerosene) which they finally got in Raratonga.

The guests brought a beautiful selection of native art as gifts and it was great to watch lucks unwrap each gift.

Lucka had wanted a conch shell since she got on the boat, they were insanely expensive in Tahiti and Raro, we were told they were available in Tonga. When we first landed a great fellow, Lufi greeted us with the load blow from a grand sized shell. I was able to buy it from him without anyone noticing during the customs procedure. This was a shell to keep on the boat as the size made packing prohibitive. Then one morning another local vender paddled up with just the right shell, Lucka was asleep on the salon settee but I was able to make the purchase right under her sleeping nose. This made for a great birthday surprise!

One a different note, the catamaran Anna, that we talked about in Niue, was found by our good friends on Mary Powell on a small sand spit surrounded by a nasty coral reef near the southern most islands of Vavau. The drama ensued as salvagers were contacted and landed on the scene. The laws on salvage are interesting and the pros did not want to acknowledge Steve’s rightful claim until some negotiations were made. In the agreement Steve got first right to pick some things off the boat.

As she layed well off shore about 6 miles from where we were anchored we took my tender to the site. The landing was heroic as we bashed over the coral and pulled the tender up on the sandy spit. We went through the boat, which had been battered beyond any repair and Steve got some items he had wanted, none of any value. It was an emotional sight to see as we had gotten to know Kelley the owner and had shared his pain in his loss. It is a sobering sight to see a lost boat, we all know we are playing for keeps out here and one mistake can bring irreversible disaster. I am glad for Kelley that the boat is a total loss as repairing a damaged boat here would be a mess. We hope he can move on and continue his life of adventure.