Tonga – by Gary Dawson

If you remember, the date was rescheduled for Monday night. So, Monday night I went back to where she worked/lived at 6 pm. She was there and I asked her if she still wanted to go out. She said yes, but a girl friend was going also and I figured what the heck the more the merrier. She also said I had to ask Big Mama again ( her Aunt/employer). Well that did not come off to well last time, but I stepped forward and did it again. Now here is this restaurant/bar owner that caters to the sailing crowd and she sees this long haired grubby looking sailor who has been at sea for 6 months and wants to take her nice out. What do you think she says??? Fria has to work tonight. So no more Tongan women!!! 
Speaking of dates, have you ever passed the International dateline? One day it is Tuesday Oct 15 and the next minute it is Wednesday Oct. 16. So at this minute it is Sunday Nov. 8, 9:30am and on the east coast it is Sat. Nov.7, 5:30pm. OK enough for dates. 
Nicole and Colby(my daughter and son in law) arrived on Wednesday. For the next two weeks we will be sailing Tonga and I am going to have them share with you their experiences on the trip. So here is Colby 
Love Gary 
Hello all, this Colby, Gary’s son-in-law. As you know we joined Gary in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Let me tell you, getting to this part of the world takes some time. We flew from Anchorage, Alaska to LA to Brisbane Australia to Auckland New Zealand and finally we landed in Nuku’alofa. Over 22 hours of flying and a lot more in layovers, but we are here, and man was it worth it. We’ve been with Gary for 5 days and it has already been worth the traveling. We experienced the pleasure of cabby John who took us looking for groceries, that was quite the experience. We went to six or seven different markets looking for various things that we would normally find in one store back in the States, but this is the way it is down here in the South Pacific. Nicole and I also went looking for this “date” that Gary has been writing about, but oddly we had no luck locating her. The island she lives on was small enough that Nic and I walked around it in about 30 minutes. We had a cute little dog follow us. 
We left Nuku’alofa on Friday morning, and had amazing weather for sailing. The wind was blowing about 20 knots and we were cruising. We headed to an island to the North called Nomuka. It was about 50 miles, and we made it in 6 hours, so if you can do some math that is about 9 knots, screaming by sailing standards. I myself am a power boater, so this has all been a new experience for me – Slowing everything down and just enjoying the time. It has been great. We went to shore in Nomuka and walked around town. We saw pigs everywhere as well as dogs. The Tongans are very friendly and curious. They all like to talk to us and find out where we are coming from. Later that day Nicole and I went to a deserted beach and found a bunch of dead trees, which we needed for the bonfire we were having later that night. It was pretty windy, but we managed to find a protected place and made our little fire pit. We went back to the boat and had dinner. We have been eating like kings out here, which if you have been reading the emails from Gary you probably already know, but I just wanted to let you know, the food is great. After dinner we took the tender in to the beach and had an awesome bonfire with music via Gary and some great white wine under the beautiful starry sky. 
Next morning off to Haa’fave. Another small island, and another day of great sailing weather. Today we put the fishing line in while we sailed. Right away we had a strike, it was a nice Mahi Mahi, but it got off. We continued on our way and about an hour later, we caught a nice Wahoo, which we will be eating in an hour. It was a good fight and very exciting to catch. If you don’t know, these guys are like little torpedos that do not want to lose the battle. They sure are tasty!! We also went on a nice dive today. We got down to about 90’ and we saw some beautiful coral reef, lots of fish and the famous Tongan Clams. The clam we saw was the size of a huge watermelon. Today is Sunday, so when we went to the village we found that everyone, and I mean everyone, was at church, so we explored a little and made our way back to the boat. 
Well it is time to make our sundowner drinks and watch the sunset. Hope you all are well! 
Captain Colby 





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