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Change of plans...new launch location: Tonga

Written on: Thursday June 26th, 2008

As I am sure will be the case many times throughout this trip, my plan have changed.  The Fijian government has recently modified its maritime law, specifically how often a yacht may return to its waters after leaving.  Formerly, there was no restriction on this.  Now, however, after a yacht has left Fijian waters, it is not allowed back until at least nine months have passed.  The Moet was there seven months ago.  Although Sylvia and Frans submitted an appeal, they were told that there are no exceptions.

So...Tonga!  We'll now be meeting in Nuku'alofa, before setting sail for the Ha'apai Islands to the north.  This should be an amazing portion of the trip, as the Ha'apais are less touristy, have fewer visitors and sport even more pristine land and reefs than in Fiji.  Plus, it is the season of the humpback whale migration.  Mama whales and their babies follow the Tonga Trench from the south, right past these islands.  So with a little luck, we may be able to sail, snorkel and dive with these beautiful creatures!

After Tonga we intend to follow the original itinerary for the trip.  We'll sail past Fiji to Vanuatu and eventually continue on to New Calendia.  The catch is that the crossing to Vanuatu will now take about ten days, as opposed to the five it would have taken from Fiji.  In a kind gesture, S&F have offered an additional free week aboard the Moet in New Cal at the end of the trip to help compensate for the extra time at sea.  Splendid.

All things considered, this twist of fate that leads us to Tonga should be a pleasant change.  I'll get to visit a country that I really would like to see, and in general we'll get to explore more of the South Pacific!

 

From Karma on Jul 13th, 2008

all who wander are not lost