Tonga Week 2 – by Gary Dawson

We departed the Vava’u Islands in Tonga last Sunday on our way to Nukualofa in Tonga, about 170 miles South West. Our first stop enroute was the Island of Ofolanga. It was a completely deserted Island with a beautiful beach miles long. Upon arriving we made BBQ chicken with my moms potato salad receipt and had a great old time. The next day I went ashore and spent 3 hours walking the beach and sunbathing all by myself. 
On Tuesday we departed again and stopped at another Island about 50 miles SW of Ofolanga (8 hours). We anchored off of another beautiful beach. The next day Amanda and I went into the village. It was the coolest village I have been into yet. The people were so friendly and there were no tourists. The Tonga Islands are independent so they are not subsidized by a foreign government. As a result they are a very poor people with regards to money but very rich with respect to happiness. The streets in the town are dirt and not cement like French Polynesia. There was a population of maybe 300 and they had two big churches. Most Islands we have visited have chickens running around. This Island had Pigs and many piglets all over. 
Mike went ashore the next day and was able to trade a dive belt and dive top for 3 lobsters, which we cooked for dinner that night. We of course went ashore and laid on the beach for an afternoon with a perfect all blue sky. 
That night we also had a bonfire on shore and invited two other boats in the harbor. One of the other boats had a father and son on board. They told us their story of being in Samoa during the earth quake and following tziumi. When the Tziumi hit, their boat ended up on land going down main street and when the water started going back out so did their boat and nothing happened to them or the boat. It all happened in a matter of 30 minutes. 
The last leg of our trip to Nukualofa (Latitude 21 08S Longitude 175 11’W) was 50 miles with no wind so we motored all the way. The first night there was a big party for Big Mama (in the picture) and the boat people in the area came dressed as mostly pirates as can be seen in the picture. We meet up with a lot of the people we have encountered during our trip over the last 6 months. Amanda and I are on the left side I am wearing a Panamanian hat. There was free food, chicken, fish and roasted pig. They also had a live band that played rock and roll. It was an awesome party. I met this local waitress that wanted to keep dancing with me and I was a willing participant (well you do not want to insult the locals). So anyways by the end of the night I asked her out for dinner the next night. Now she does speak English, but not that well. She said something about big mama but I was not sure what it was. Well the next night at 6pm I show up for my date and what I found out is that I had to ask big mama if she could go out as she is the niece of big mama (I am not sure how old she is). So anyways it is now set up for Monday night. Although I am not sure if big mama is coming also. Well we will see, what the heck life is an adventure. 
So Amanda has left us. Last night she flew to Fiji to be a paid crew member on another boat. She traded the aging dos Dawson’s for the 55 catamaran with a 37 year old millionaire owner with a captain (30) and female chef (22). They will be sailing to New Zealand. 
Mike will fly back to Denver for business on Tuesday and Mike and Marnie will return on Dec. 20th and meet me in New Zealand. My Daughter Nicole and her husband Colby will join me in Tonga on Nov. 4th. We will sail Tonga for 3 more weeks and then bring the boat to New Zealand. 
So the Adventure continues 
Love Gary 


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