Off to Fiji
On our last fling into “the anchorages” we were invited to a Tongan feast by a small –like 25 people small—village trying to regain its place in the world. Their small wharf and connection to the outside world had been destroyed in a cyclone and they were raising funds to fix it. So off to the feast we went. At the feast we met several other yachties some old friends and some new—there we met a most interesting young lady, Davinia, who was crewing on a MacGregor 62. Both Lucka and I took to her instantly and in our own ways. It was soon arranged that she would stay aboard Furthur for a few days and have some fun. We did a dive on a cool cave, had a picnic, and went back to Neiafu for the final stages of our departure.
Fueling became the big issue as the one fuel truck was broken down and parts were on the slow boat from New Zealand. This caused quite the buzz in the fleet as each tried to arrange duty free fuel from a very taxed supplier. I had engaged the use of an agent, Yacht Help Tonga, before I arrived and time and again was glad I did so—they arranged fuel—10 barrels—and most important a pump. I learned how important the pump was watching the neighbor siphon his one barrel dry—yuk! The agent also arranged the whole clear out process and I did nothing—money well spent.
As we had a grace period of 24 hours and wanted to spend more time with Davinia, we headed to “The Blue Lagoon” as our last Tongan stop. A rendezvous with her boat was arranged for the next day. This amazing lagoon faces the open water west of Tonga and has a small entrance carved out of a rugged rock wall. We dropped the hook and partook of the traditional Furthur leap with our guest and new crew, Tom.
Afterwards the girls swam about and Tom and I kayaked to explore the small island and to see bats. This part of the world is home to very large—like big squirrel sized—bats and we found a tree with at least a hundred hanging upside down like bats do. Tom went ashore with his camera to flush them out and I stayed in my kayak—as the bats took to flight and circled me just feet above my head—we named the island, Gotham City.
We finished the day with a snorkel in the entrance being tossed about spectacular coral and schools of fish by breaking waves. We could hear whales singing in the distance underwater.
We sadly made our rendezvous with Mistral III and left Davinia hoping to see her again in Fiji and headed west into the setting tropical sun.
After our grand time in Tonga it was time to once again bid a due to a place that will stay in my heart forever. Tonga is a unique place, a mixture of fun loving ex pat business owners, villagers with large builds and larger hearts and natural beauty found nowhere else.