Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tongan Feast at anchorage #11 Tapana

we arrived to this anchorage to have a great traditional tongan feast. Definately different than we thought it would be, first the dancing was different from the other polynesian dances we have seen, they are way more concervative- the girls hardly move their hips and the boys really give it!! great to see. if you notice on the pictures there are no plates or cutlery - everything eaten with hands and the dishes are carved out fruit or plants. real neat! the food was great! although we were not sure what we were eating! this is probably a good thing. they roasted a couple of small pigs , and cooked everything in the ground. some things were wrapped in banana leaves and had that smokey taste - still very good. there was lots of clams and octopus- mom you would have loved that! tee hee
there were about 620 people there! It was quite the feast.
The day we arrived we did a special dinner for Jenny on Malachi for her birthday - called a progresive dinner. The kids go from boat to boat, Orca III did appies, O'Vive did main course and Malachi did pancake breakfast the next morning after the kids slept over on O'Vive. fun time! We parents had dinner together and had a blast of a time.

We moved to Mala Island on Sunday to anchor in better holding as the weather was forcasting high winds, the winds came but from the other direction and we sat out the night in quite the storm, lightening and a ton of rain. the wind hit over 40 knots !! it was so windy and wavey and came up so fast that our kids were stuck on O"vive over night. just not worth the risk to have them come back in the dingy. The next morning all was calm, you would neven have known there was a storm!! made for quite the night. and Steve and I had the boat to ourselves!

We went for a tour of the swallow caves. these caves you can take your dingy right into and one of them we were able to have all four dingys in at once! very cool. we have done lots of snorkeling here and there are even starfish, first time seeing those in a long time!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Boat Shirts!

here we are!! We all have orca III on the front and a humpback whale design for Steve, me and Kyle, Emma has a dolphin and Maya has a butterfly - there are so many butterflies here its amazing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

still in Neiafu

the kids shopping with mom, we got crock shoes for $8 tongan! ( $4 cdn and thats a deal especially coming from Frnch Polynesia!) we even found Emma a bathingsuit, seems she is losing them! had 4 down to one. The kids have gotten to know their way around the village and have been going into town , shopping at the market,getting their own deals! good for them to go on their own with the other kids.
this is me and Emma with Marg and Nathalie and Margs friend Mary in front of the tourist info booth, they even have Vancouver on the sign!!
We all have gotten boat shirts done! they look great and I will post them on the blog soon. Steve and I both went for a massage to day!! wonderful it was! and only $80 for and hour and 20 minutes - that's about $40 CDN . so cheap, we will go again. we have been very busy here and tonight there is a talk on NZ . will be a packed place with all the cruisers. Steve played on Monday night again, and they all love him! He has been fixing a lot of boats, seems they are all breaking down. My have to rebuild an engine, if the parts can get delivered here. the mail hasn't gone out in 2 weeks, so your postcard my take some time to get there.!!

we have been in town almost everyday getting stuff. this is a very full bus of locals going to a funeral, they sacraficed a horse and had it in the pickup behind the bus. It sure bothered me to see the horse!! they have a great market for some veggies and fruit

Hey in the T-shirt place I found my name!!some boat called the Dione II - how cool is that?!We are leaving tomorrow am to head for anchorage #11 Tapana , will do a traditional tongan feast on Sat and lots of swimming and snorkeling. chances are there is not internet but you never know. we will come back to Neiafu sometime next week and then go again. Malachi Ovive will be with us. lookiong forward to snorkeling again, and there are all kinds of caves we can go in with the dingy ! this should be fun!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Whales , Whales!

What can I say, we had a " Whale of a good time!" the humpbacks are so beautiful!! I was so cool to be in the water with them, "singing" away. They sound so beautiful! and the water was warm!
Emma was so excited she said " mommy she was talking to me!" unfortunetly , they didn't stay still for us to really get close, the one that was still stayed down quite deep, still it was so cool!! I will go again, and because we got such a deal ,we will. Maybe when Malachi gets here. Tonga is the only place that you can swim with them in the world .Our guide was excellent- he dwas a very stong swimmer and pulled me through the water like I was nothing , You have to swimm very fast. and he took great care of Emma.
We saw their heads even on the surface. that was neat. hard to get pictures though, just keep snapping away. Dave on O"vive took some video , I look forward to seeing that. hopefully I can link that to here.

We even went swimming into an underwater cave. Steve and I didn't go in, I float to much and Steve doesn't like caves so much. Kyle and Maya both went in though. Our guied helped Maya , you have to dive down about 6 ft and then swim in about 6ft. me scared! I was even nervous of the kids doing it , but they were fine.

Ps - we are one day ahead of you all, today is Friday September 19- another glorious day in paradise. Steve is off to work , he has a lot of boats wanting help - yesterdays whale event was even paid for because he sold 2 tiller pilots. yeah, for Steve!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fun in Tonga

Nathalie took this great picture of us!! aren't we the cute couple!! This time next year we will be in the Fall Fair doing the dishes on Ganges Salt Spring - yep , Carol and Bryn count us in!!!
We had a great anniversary dinner at the Aquarium Cafe - this is the hang out place for the cruisers. our buddies of O"Vive, Tin Soldier, and Shilling came to celebrate with us. great food and good prices. The Tongan dollar - called pa 'anga- is about 2-1 Canadian, so good for us. Everything is cheaper - especially compared to French Polynesia!!! We brought the kids with us even, they all ate then left to play on O'Vive. we have quite the group of kids - hang out all the time.

Glenn off of Tin Soldier and I went into town to get the best price for all of us to swim with the humpback whales. yep , you read that right - we are going out today for the day , to swim with those wonderfully huge mamals. We managed to get the boat for a flat fee of $1500 T diveded by 12 people makes for a do able price for us families. It should be a great time.! wil get lots of photos.

this is the harbour we are in right now, we are all on mooring bouys and boy its tight! The Va Vau group reminds us of Desolation Sound! except with no big mountains, just beautiful here. we will spend most of our time around the island here and then a little in the Ha Pai group-

Monday, September 15, 2008

TONGA - Steve & Dionne 13yrs today!

We are here!! arrived on Sunday Tonga time. but had to wait to check in on Monday, quite the procedure - however we lucked out! it was raining so hard , they asked to go and anchor and come see them at the customs building - usually they board your boat. but instead we went into customs and had 4 stations to go to.
customs, agriculture ( where I thought I'd loose my big bunch of bananas , but they told me to have my kids eat them!!) , immigration, then health ( not to sure what that was because all he did was give us a nice certificate , didn't even ask about our health and took $30 tongan.
All the guys were very friendly and they are very big on family, really loved that we had 3 kids!!

I had a great time trying to get Tongan dollars as the ATM's where all out ( still are) and had to borrow some from O"Vive - I have since went in and took a cash advance on my visa, hopefully the ATM's will be working tomorrow, they have a fellow working hard to get it to work, there was a huge wind, rain and lightening storm that went through here Sunday and Monday.
Every boat we've met is here!! its amazing- the Va Vau group of Islands are beautiful and remind us of BC cruising grounds. its only max an hour to each different place . looking forward to exploring them. the market here is fantastic, will post you some pictures soon, they have all kinds of veggies and fruit, even got fresh basil today, and the crafts here a amazing!! more on that another day. goes with a picture .

Last night Steve got to play live with Glenn ( sax man from Dorothy Marie) on stage again. had a great guitar player ( from Van but now here permanetly) they sounded great up there playing. all the cruisers where there at some point that night and even got to have the kids there. Steve had the best time!! its been a while since he has jammed.
Before that one of the local " buisness men" rowed his boat out to us - in the pouring rain- and wanted to sell us some carved necklaces ( he succeed at 4 - Steve, Kyle , Maya and Emma) all got one. he stayed and played the ucklely and guitar. Maka is his name and he is lovely - has 8 kids!! thats him at the top of the page. internet is not cheap $ 50 for 5 hours so will be using it sparinly and for those of you who want to Skype apparently the Tonga ministry has stopped Skype here. so we have heard , will try and get more info on that.
We have quite the group going out to night for our anniversay , will be fun.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

on route to Tonga

we are about 12 hours out of Tonga, We have passed the international date line so now are a whole day ahead of you ( actually more like 20hrs ahead)
We left Niue around 11am Niuean time- had the wind behind us so we chose to go a little more north to have the wind on our hind starboard quarter. we are now wing on wing as the wind as slowed down as has the seas. We broke a piece of our genoa roller furling - will need to get that shipped to us!! have temporarily fixed the problem and we can still use the genoa.

we have all been sleeping a lot through out the day and also a lot of reading. My poor kids have all taken their turn with being seasick. Not Steve this time - sturgeron working great.

we will be meeting up with Malachi and O'vive and Tin Soldier tomorrow. hope to catch Dorothy Marie soon!! time to play some music!

no whales no fish so far
well getting to rocky to type and my tummy does better outside in the fresh air.

here's our lat and long
18* 18.594' s
172* 40.260' w

by for now

ps I sent this at 6:40pm Sat 13 Tonga time

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

more touring of Niue

The Tremblay Troup of Orca III - sailing around the South Pacific Sea!!
our beautiful Maya!!
Our beautiful Dionne

the beautiful clear water at Aviati Cave. great swimming

we have been having a blast , lots of eating out, did the market again and even got my laundry picked up. the laundry people gave me a big big bushel of bananas and 4 papayas. NOt everyday you get that with your laundry!! the town ( or should I say the country) knows all of us Tremblays. when I dropped off my laundry the man there said " Your Emma's mom aren't you?" think thats why we got all that fruit!! Maya hurt her foot( she fell in one of the caves at the end of the day)so we checked out the hospital- nice place!! but they close at 4pm - well there are a few nurses there to watch the 4 rooms with 2 beds for the night. we have to come back this morning after 9am for xray. we think it may just be a very bad sprain, but its still swollen and she can't put any weight on it. best to check it out. today is a get the boat ready to leave and check out on shore. we will leave tomorrow ( Thursday) for Tonga - we will miss this place! I even gave one of the ladies in the weaving class one of my beaded bags- I was teaching 2 of the ladies there how to make them. The lady I gave the bad to is giving me a woven hat she has made! wait til you see that- they are beautiful and take a while to make them!! they sell for $85 here , cheap really for the amount of work put into them.
Kyle,Emilie, Chris ( SV Candine) , Maya

these are some more pictures of our tour with the crew of O'Vive. this is the van we toured around in.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunday drive in Niue

We took O'Vive on a tour of the island. we stopped off at the Talava Arches first, we have been here before but it sure was different with the big surge and crashing waves. We did a swim here and then went for lunch. After we hiked a very short hike to Matapa Chasm, this was our first time here also, what a beautiful place to swim! There is a freshwater stream that enters below sea level and keep the water cool. its so neat to look with our masks as it is a little blurry cause of the freshwater on top. when you dive down deeper the water gets warmer! this is the kids in front of the chasm!
We left there and drove to Togo - this was quite the spetacular event. It is on the west side of the island.the landscape is so dramatic and jagged!! you would not want to get washed ashore here. we walked through

the woods through a mass of jagged coral pinnacles to a grassy patch that leads to a ravine. At the bottom of the ravine
( 27 rungs on a ladder straight down!) there is a beautiful sandy beach with coconut trees rising almost to the rim of the ravine! quite the sight!!! wow is all I can say , my pictures don't do it justice!
Its amazing how different each area of the island we went to is.
We stood on the jagged coral looking out to sea, the waves crashing all around - we were in AWE. we were about 50 ft from the water and still got sprayed by the waves . something to see and experience.

we left there to stop once again at the Wash away CAfe. only open on Sundays ( actually the only thing aside from Church that is open on Sunday - funny)
we had a great day! we will go off again this afternoon, touring away. still haven't seen it all!
I almost need to go to sea to get some rest?! We have been so busy here, for a small island there has been lots to do!! hardly been on the boat.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fakaalofa Lahi Atu ( Welcome) from Niue

now try and say that!! almost sounds like another "f" word we know, eh? but we love saying it!!
We had a great BBQ the other night , put on by the Yacht Club. its kinda funny as the yacht club members here don't have any boats. but we joined! getting our burgy too. we had a great feast, they even picked us up in a bus and took us to the coral gardens restaurant , where the toughest golf course is. did some banjo playing and sing !! just a great time.
Friday morning is market day, quited the different market than what we had in Raratonga!! very small, but just as fun. lucked out and got cucumber and even zuccini - it was huge and cost $7 check out Steve using it as a phone. we got lots of good fresh food and even saw some of the ladies from the weaving class, they have told me to be there again on Tuesday and to bring my beads. They want to see what I make. Bingo again this afternoon, only its for cash - darn I wanna win a pig!! tee hee.
Looking forward to O'Vive arriving this afternoon also, and Malachi has made it to Tong . we will catch up to them soon. here's some info on Nuie

Niue is one of the world's safest destinations, and one of the few countries in the world where crime is almost unheard of. It's also free of any harmful animals or insects! Niue is a large upraised coral atoll, and is the only land mass in the centre of a triangle of Polynesian islands made up of Tonga Samoa and the Cook Islands. Located 2400 km north of New Zealand, Niue is 11 hours behind GMT. The island's isolation and coral makeup creates an exciting rugged coastline and reef which provides intimate swimming coves as opposed to the typical long stretches of sandy beaches so predominant elsewhere in Polynesia The whole island is dotted with a myriad of caves.
There are less than 1500 residents. they have dual citizenship, as an independent nation in free association with NZ.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Loving Niue

Since no one has answered the trivia question I will give you the answer- there was a very bad hurricane here Jan 2004 - Hurricane Heta, and our CAnadian government gave around $300,000 to help rebuild the primary school and also gave the fishermen here 80% of the value of the boats and outboard motors that were damaged and lost ! They love us CAnadians here for that!!!! here is the school , the kids of Niue painted all the flags as a thank you to Canada! you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.
The other day we woke up to humpback whales just off our stern , about 100 ft. they were magnificent! then they surfaced just infront of our bow, between us and 2 other boats. I was so exited I got so caught up in watching them forgot to take pictures! there was 2 big ones and 1 baby! the kids loved watching them!! we were so lucky.

Well we rented the van again to go swimming in the neat caves. Pictures will come later as I forgot my camera and Malachi (she emembered) has left for Tonga. we will miss them!! Steve has been a big help in the anchorage, I have crowned him "King of the Anchorage" its seems to have gone to his head - hahaha , na it hasn't but he has been helping a lot of boats and it has been good. currently trying to figure out a big front seal leak on a transmission (not ours), not so easy to find parts here. but about 4 other boats have been also trying - checking their stock of spares... no luck yet, its amazing how the cruiser sure pull together to help!!!
Love this island.... put it on your list to visit!! the landscape and nature are amazing. like I said , Malachi, Tin Soldier and us got the van again, had a great time even though the weather is acting like BC! although today, the sun is trying to come through..... We also went to Bingo last night! what a blast, they play it almost the same , but no B I N G O part. just numbers and they go up to 90- the caller sounds like an auctioneer ! the prizes, well, Malachi won a hug fish!! big Tuna, but traded it for a box of frozen whole chickens about 12!! I tried to win the grand prize - 3 big Tuna, 1 box of chickens, 1 whole ( dead) pig, and a big stalk of bananas and 4 stalks of Tao root. but no luck, however the friends we met at the weaving the day before won a basket of food and a cake and gave me the cake. of course I shared!! we had a lot of fun and the locals have adopted all of us. ( you know me, I can meet anyone) They were very happy to have us at the bingo cause it was a fundraiser and I brought at least 7 cruising boats ! it was fun!! SAt is bingo again only for money - some where between $200-$300 and it is at noon. Yes I will be there.
We did weaving on Tuesday, the women here get together and boy can they weave beautiful hats! they took us in with the kids and taught us how, we started of with making balls! I was pouring rain so it was a great thing to do. ( and of course they were at bingo, and loved having us there) I have to come back next week to weaving class and bring my beads, they want me to teach them the beading!!
The kids went next door to the pool hall and played some pool! Kyle really liked that. there is so much to do here for a little island and the yacht club here has been great giving us rides and finding out info for us all. tonight there is a BBQ and they are picking us up even. We plan on joining the yacht club and getting a burgy !

go to to check out this great place!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hiking around Niue

this is how we get the dingy on the dock, cool, eh?! using a crane and lifting it, first time for us,of course Steve thinks this is great. then we just park 'em...

We rented a van , Malachi, Tin Soldier and us for the day to drive around the island and check out the sights. wow, the caves are great and we even missed a bunch so we will be renting again. the limestone caves, stalagamites and stalatites are so cool!! We couldn't swim at Avaiki Cave on sundays, ( its a scared spot and they ask for no swimming on that day only, ) so we will go back there during the week. I can't even describe how beautiful they are, the colors the fish!!
We started off our tour with the treasure hunt , We have signed up for geocaching ( google it) and went to find the treasures. what fun, its all done by GPS - we finally found it and put more in it for the next person. Great learning for the kids. there are 2 on this island and we found both! .

The Treasure Hunters!!

us parents at the Wash A way Cafe, getting out of the rain, warming up with a rum and coke - left the kids in the van, actually they were playing cards, they could come in if they wanted. this was our last stop of our tour, we were tired!





'Lil' putt putt

'Lil' putt putt
Christmas at Snug Cove