Friday, October 31, 2008

we are in Nukalofa Tonga

Good morning everyone,
We arrived here on Oct30 around 4:30pm after leaving the lovely Ha'Apai group of islands. great to be here! there are a ton of boats waiting to leave to New Zealand and we know everyone. NIce to be back together again, we checked in yesterday and got our duty free fuel- what an ordeal. customs first , then port authority, customs again then running off to the BP fuel station to order our fuel early so that we could get it asap, half to order it in 200 litre incraments > Steve figured we needed 800
litres ( thats 4 barrels full) . they don't send a truck , you get barrels that you have to hand pump - actually it was kinda fun, takes forever to do.... as it was we didn't need that much , one barrel to much, but Steve managed to get enough boats and jerry cans to sell it to them, otherwise we can't take it back.
While Steve was doing this I was off to the market, bakery, butcher, and other shops to get us provisions. Man I am looking forward to a one stop shop to do that ! got a lot of great food, as they were just re-stacking . that whole process took us 5 hours . When I got back from getting food , Steve was still pumping diesel, we got back to our anchorage and anchored just after 2:30pm , we left the bay to do our stuff at 8am .

then last night the wind came up the rain poured like I haven't seen before. really reminded all of us BC'ers of Halloween back there. We went into "Big Mamas" for a buffet and halloween party, the party was cut short cause all of us boaters were concerned for our boats. then at about 11:30 pm - bam we were woke with a start cause a boat dragged and hit us! made for quite some commotion. only a little damage on the hull of our boat, gouged the paint down to the metal. not sure of the damage to the
other boat yet , they had a real hard time and have gone way across the other side of the bay - ( big bay!)
Not a great way to be woken up! we were concerned that they pulled on our anchor but we were okay.
Woke up to a beautiful sunny calm day, one would not have guessed that we could get that after the storm last night!
good thing is all the salt is washed of my boat!

we will go into town to the saturday market and check it out. looks like we are here for a while. the weather is not to good to leave from here and the first few hundred miles. would rather wait it out.
we don't really have internet access here. half to go to town, thats a bit of a trip. will keep you all posted
here is our lat and long

21*07.47's 175*09.89'w

email ya later!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

on the move - Orca III

hey all we are heading to Nomuka Iki in the Ha Apai group of Tonga this will be our last stop before Nukalofa where we will leave to NZ. looks like Nov 6 is our time frame, but the weather keeps changing. here's our long and lat for today 20*12'.70 s 174* 42.50W we are motor sailing at 6 knots , very little wind and we are making a ton of water!
Just caught a small tuna!! hoping for a mai mai - the Ha'Apai group of islands are beautiful and we sure have enjoyed the ones we have been at. had a bon fire and potluck on the beach last night. lots of singing and guitar playing. we saw some fruit bats in the previous anchorage. those were very cool. this is short , will update some more later. too hot down here with the engine running


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

still in Tonga

today we went to the other side of the island. we met this guy named sandy and he took us on a tour of what he calls his favorite spot in the world. we spent the day swimming eating curry chicken ,siping coconut milk and generally relaxing in paradise. the owner of the land we were on is the united nations representative of Tonga. after that we went back to our boat before going over to O'vive to celebrate Alec's birthday which was a sleepover party. i forgot to mention last time that Alec and Kyle took the sailing dinghy dubbed "peanut" and won themselves a free pizza and 1st place in a sailing race. Maya and Emma also built a fort with sticks and even decorated it.the resteront was in the best spot for a restront it was put in so you could look at the ocean. when we where done we went to sandy s house to look at the motel on the bottom floor we also got an entire tour of the top floor and thier garhge. they even had chickins. kyle also got a new book from the lady thet wroked there it is about the last things in the world thet we have not found.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

the beautiful ocean and its treasures!

here are some more pictures of the humpback whales. these were taking by one of our cruising buddies while in Nuie. they jumped in the water with the mom and baby. the mom was getting the baby to the surface. Beautiful! these by the way are not zoomed in , she was this close!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

another day in paradise!

Natalie took this our us at anchorage #8 Nuku - we loved it there!

here are the kids, Kyle, Emilie, and Jenny are their shift - the kids had a great time sailing the dingy from Nuku to Neiafu. I forgot to mention that the day before Alec, Maya, Jenny dumped the dingy just before they docked it at Orca III. made for a great resque the kids where laughing so hard. that dingy doesn't sink!!

We've come back to Neiafu to stock up (?) there isn't alot of choices here. We are all looking so forward to New Zealand to buy everything!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

this is where we anchored for the last 4 days isn't the water blue!

We left Neiafu and headed to anchorage 8 called Nuku. We took all the kids - that would be 7 aboard Orca III. Malachi and O'Vive came a few hours later. We stopped at Swallows cave for a snorkel of off Orca III. look how close we got here to the shore! that is a great place! The kids had a blast hanging out on deck and in the crows nest!
Once we arrived to the anchorage , it was a beautiful place, we did a big potluck dinner on Orca III and the kids all spent the night. We had kids everywhere! the cockpit was full of them! after pancakes for breakfast - and boy thats a lot of pancakes! how did my grandma feed 7?! off they went to the beautiful almost white sandy beach to fly kites and snorkel . The water was warm and clear!! Steve also got the sailing dingy off the davits - second time this trip! and all the kids have spent the last 3 days sailing it. They even took turns today - two crew changes - from the Nuku anchorage back to Neiafu harbour. Maya, Jocelyn and Alec took the davidson from Nuku ( named the dingy "Peanut") and just around Mala Island was the half way mark so the crews changed there and Kyle, Emilie and Jenny brought her into Neiafu! They all did excellent - however the mast did break in half and also the tiller had a mishap. fortuneatly the mast broke right beside Orca III while waiting for us to anchore. NO big deal, Steve already has a way to fix it and they will be off and sailing again. ! sure had a grand time.
Steve will play music tonight and the kids will hang out on O'Vive while us adults eat out!! yeah for me. I think I have cooked enough for while given I've fed a lot of people the last few days!
Hey you scrabblers , I have learned a new game - Scrabble Tiles! fast and fun and the kids also like it. I am good! I will challenge you all when I get back!

Hey Spruce harbour if anyone knows of a way for us to get a hold of Larry Theriault here in Tonga let us know! email us

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Life in Neiafu Vava'u - Kingdom of Tonga

We have been hanging out here while Steve finishes up the boats. I went with Glen and Sally from Dorothy Marie to the end of the bay by dingy. managed to get a bunch of papayas! its so beautiful where we anchored.
We are away from most of the mooring bouys - have my trees all around! the water is green and calm, very peaceful where we are , just a little far from the other boats, but we love it!! feels like we are in Desolation Sound! - the kids are doing a photo scavenger hunt!! they have lots of questions to answer and when they find the stuff must take a picture of it and their team. There are 4 teams. can't wait to see them come back ! good fun! I just learned how to upload a bunch of pictures at the same tiem! I'm so excited.

Banana Trees!! like a jungle out here

Steve, Glenn and Sally at the Mermaid ! great place!

swimming at the Paradise Hotel pool, all the kids from the boats - Orca III, O'Vive, Malachi, Tin Soldier, Candine and finally New Paige. (she is Kimberly has the red hair in the back- also from Canada , Alberta!)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sunset in Tonga

this beautiful picture was taken by Marg of Malachi- we were out at the eastern most anchorage on Wednesday. had a bonfire and found the fresh water pool, not a great find, home of the mosquito nursery!!! It was oh so much fun getting to the anchorage, lots of reef and had to have me on the bow the whole time to make sure we didn't hit any coral. gave myself a scare cause one huge one appeared so sudden, but the water is so clear we can see 40 ft down. we had a lot of water over that coral, not 40 ft but at least 10ft so we were fine! but just the same , scared me , I saw the beautiful colours of green and yellow so clearly, could've bet it was just a couple of feet under. the kids went ahead of us on Malachi about 1.5hrs before us so it was just Steve and I on coral watch. nice place. we now it as anchorage #30 its name is Kenutu.
We left there 2 days later and headed to anchorage #16 - Vaka'eitu ( see why there numbered?!)
also nice , met up with Dorothy Marie so a few hours before they headed on to another spot. We went for a snorkel to the Coral Gardens. very nice but we took the hard way. its right by where we anchored but you have to get over the reef. to shallow for the dingy so either you go all the way around ( about 20 dingy ride) or you try to walk it at low tide and get in off the reef. Orca III and Ovive tried it by walking ( Ovive actually went by dingy in the morning and said it was beautiful - we didn't have enough fuel in the dingy to make the trip this is why we walked the reef) that was an adventure, after much checking out we found a way in , not the most graceful of enteries, and I got pushed over onto the reef by the waves! a few scratches and lost my snorkel and mask. I finally found them , just before being lost for good into the anchorage. and went in, defineatly the way to go is to take the long way around. ! made for a great chat later!!





'Lil' putt putt

'Lil' putt putt
Christmas at Snug Cove