I am not
sure how much of the pictures I will be able to upload here. The telephone
company is owned by the King's daughter and she does not allow anyone else to
have a satellite or compete with her so the connection is slow and will stay
that way until she decides to do something about it. I am not at the main island
but in Vava'u. The city Neiafu is a beautiful anchorage heavily influenced by
the moorings company's base here. Neiafu is the 'hub' for cruisers from both
west and the ones who spent the hurricane season in New Zeeland so there are
plenty of boats here. After sailing around the small islands in the Pacific for
the last two months I am happy to meet cruisers, share stories and parts again.
With all the boats visiting the facilities are good here but also expensive, I
set a new personal record on Saturday when I paid 4 us$ for a shower. They also
charge for garbage and water.
As on the last couple of ports I have been to the New Zealanders and the
Australians are the ones with the businesses. I am not sure if this is negative
or positive since they bring a lot of expertise to the island and most likely
have helped them bring the standard of living up to a higher level but still it
would have been nice to be able to see what the life used to be like here. One
gets a glimpse in the church and on the streets as the locals still wear the
traditional dresses but not much more. I guess I could always go to the outer
islands and meet the few people still living there.
Moorings and Charter
I understand that this is going to be a pretty boring letter and honestly I did
not feel like writing either but I guess it is time so I will keep going.
The moorings is the largest charter sailboat company in the world and they have
recently merged with nb.2 the sunsail so now they are huge with thousands of
boats all around the world. To make a long story short, if I were to ever
charter a boat I would go to Tonga. Here it is easy day sail among lots of small
and bigger islands. There are lots of uninhabited islands to go to with great
snorkeling and easy sail and since there are so many other cruisers and moorings
people the community is great. One can sail around and be completely alone or
come to the city and share stories at the yacht club. The prices here are good
for the pacific and only Fiji would be cheaper. If you come here at the right
time it is also the last place in the world where they let you swim with
humpback whales. They are all over here from august or sometime around there.
Vava'u Yacht Club.
Finally meeting people has been good to me so I have spent a lot of time in the
club and meet a lot of nice people. The club is good and eating normal food
again has been great. They serve everything from delicious salads to mashed
potatoes with gravy, all for reasonable prices. Yesterday they were to fire a
canon to celebrate a historic world war something but it would not fire witch I
think was ok because it was aiming at an old wooden sailboat in the harbor. The
vessel is really old and i was afraid it would have sunk. The beautiful wooden
boat was used to carry troops from England to France in the war so it would have
been a shame :-)
for a shitty letter, i might write something better later ;)