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Tongatapu dreamin'

Written on: Monday July 21st, 2008

My last night in Fiji didn't quite pan out as expected, but it was quickly put behind me as I entered a new realm.  I made my way to the Nadi airport ready to take on the next stage.  While waiting in line to check in for the flight, I ran into one of my future fellow crew members, Jesse, which allowed a nice opportunity to bond before meeting up with everybody else.  After much banter, we arrived onto Nuku'alofa, Tonga and found a place at Toni's, the locally infamous British ex-pat who offered a healthy serving of attitude and an enjoyably dry sense of humor in everything he discussed.  He owned a few houses that were rented out to tourists, and was famous for his island tour.   So after the first night's sleep, we decided to check it out!

The tour involved a 6.5 hour trip around the island with thorough explanations of all that happened there.  From highly prized kava and talo plants to the not-so-valued papaya and coconuts (the feed them to the pigs!), Toni explained it all.  We toured beaches, saw the King's residence (from a distance, mind you), passed by virtually every one of the ridiculously large collection of churches (can anyone say Mormon?), and even found a bakery open on a Sunday, which, by law, was the only business allowed open.  However, the highlight was definitely the amazing collection of natural blow holes on the Southern shore.  It consisted of a never ending stretch of volcanic rock that perpetually got slammed into by the sea, forming small holes over time, through which sea water shot up approximately forty feet into the air!  It is wicked cool!

On the negative side, I got sick for the first time on the trip, which was way sooner than I had hoped.  Fortunately, a healthy dose of sleep combined with western medicine seemed to cure the ailment, as all was good the next morning.

We were supposed to meet Sylvia and Franz the next day to begin our sailing adventure, but had yet to hear from them.  When the rendezvous time arrived we went to Port Authority to check their status, but there was no record of the ship having entered Tongan territory.  All we could do now was hope that they would arrive soon, as we were really itching to test out our sea legs.  As it stood, we went back to Toni's for some kava and planned to check for them again the next day.