Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More news from Tonga!

We did the Tongan feast again and this time it was wonderful. Participated in a kava circle, sitting around on mats on the ground as the sun set. Several musicians playing guitars, a banjo and traditional drums from a log. Very relaxed atmosphere and friendly group. I had three bowls of the kava but felt no effect at all. The young dancers were very energetic and talented. Especially two young boys, maybe about 12 years old, who danced a traditional Tongan dance where they lunge with their
spears. One of the boys had lots of 'attitude' and seemed to really enjoy it. The girls that danced were also well decked out in beautiful clothes and jewellery and their enthusiasm was contagious. Then they piled the food on the long table and it was varied and bountiful! All sorts of seafoods, from octopus, clams, fishcakes, marinated raw fish to some less recognizable varieties. Packages of pork or lamb or beef all wrapped in leaves and tied with vine. And different kinds of taro and breadfruit,
bananas, etc... No cutlery or plates were used, everything was served wrapped in nature's bounty and eaten with fingers.
So we have been back in the Tapana anchorage for over two weeks again and rode out another squally night with high winds, heavy rain and lightning, though not as dramatic as we had when Abe was with us. We are finally getting restless and will probably wait till after the weekend to go back into Neiafu and take on water and butane before checking out to head down to the Hapai'i Group of Islands about 60 south of us. They are supposedly more remote and have small villages with fewer visitors. We
have had sunshine for two days in a row now so managed to get over to the small island around the corner and snorkel on the reef. It was interesting but not spectacular. The beaches and islands and clear turquoise waters make it a very beautiful place though. Yesterday we actually blew up the two kayaks, first time since the Tuamotus, and paddled around the bay, following the shoreline where the coral is visible only a few feet below you.
We have managed two great parties lately with 'Cat's Paw IV', 'Tarun' and two bachelors who are singlehanding at the moment; there is Ernst on 'Accord' who is from Switzerland and has spent time in more remote areas and even a year in Japan, and Mike on 'Kokoamo' who is shares his year between his home in Scotland and New Zealand. We play dice and pigs and dominoes, drink a bit and laugh a lot. Linda made her famous Red Snapper fish soup last night and it was well received by all.
So rumours that we are bored and don't know what to do with ourselves are greatly exaggerated and some days we even do more than read a book!

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