Monday, September 15, 2008

Welcome Aboard!

We arrived in Faua Harbour, Tonga on September 7th just in time to get ready for the arrival of Steve, Mary and Shayna. It was very strange, as there was only one other cruising boat in the harbour, everyone else was up North in Vava'u. Tongatapu reminded us a lot of Mexico and was quite different than we expected. We were able to purchase loads of fresh vegetables and watermelon at the Talamahu market and found many wonderful woven and carved crafts there.

The Grose's arrived on the 9th after close to 24 hours of traveling. I met them at the airport and Maka, our driver for the day, took us back to the boat but not before giving us a taste of what it's like to be in the Indy 500! Since we do everything on foot, I asked him to stop off at the market on the way back so we could pick up a big watermelon $8 and a huge stalk of bananas $3.50 - with the Canadian dollar worth close to twice as much as the Tongan pa'anga, I think we did very well.

Marg & Shayna writing a poem for Jenny's birthday.
We spent a few hours on Wednesday exploring Tongatapu, but with Jenny still on crutches, we couldn't go very far so we focused our exploring near the market, where Maka dropped us off. The Friends café is an excellent little restaurant were we enjoyed burgers, paninis and marlin for lunch. Jay stayed behind to do an oil change, something that can't be done while people are on board, but he doesn't like shopping anyway and I'm sure he enjoyed having the boat to himself for a while.

We have since been exploring the Ha'apai group and have visited the remote little island of Kelefesia which is inhabited by only one man and his assortment of inquisitive dogs, nonchalant pigs and finicky cat. This was our first taste of solitude in a long time as we were the only boat in the anchorage.

Next it was off to Nomuka iki which we hoped would be a less rolly anchorage, and it was. We explored the beach and jungle finding a shipwreck, and abandoned jail, papayas and even a coconut crab which Steve cooked up and ate - very brave!

We've since been at a quaint little island called Ha'afeva that is inhabited by approximately 1000 people. When we went ashore and were welcomed by what seemed like all the village children who fought to hold our hands and when I took their picture, I was swarmed when they all wanted to see themselves, a very sweet and memorable experience indeed. Yesterday the rain and wind stopped and the clouds parted so we hopped in the water for a snorkel and were treated to a view of thousands of assorted reef fish and many different varieties of live coral, it was very beautiful.

Here's a pic of us outside the storein Ha'afeva.

The village kids in Ha'afeva.

The Grand sendoff!
Mary snorkeling in Ha'afeva.

This morning we're getting ready to sail to a little island called O'ua where we'll spend a couple of days before moving on to Lifuka to celebrate Jenny's 15th birthday. We're all anxious to reunite with O'vive and Orca III who are currently up in Vava'u but we are enjoying showing our friends a taste of the peacefulness of the more remote anchorages, something we won't really experience further North.

John, Kafoa, Shayna, Jocelyn & Jenny on board Malachi in O'ua.

Steve & Jay checking out the cooking hut at John and Kafoa's house.

Little boys in O'ua village with pandanus drying in the background. Pandanus is used by the village women to create the beautiful baskets that Tonga is known for.


The Islomaniac said...

Any photos of Kelefesia?

I love that island.

See more about private islands in my Private Islands Blog

Dennis Hemminger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Larry Pruitt said...

Greetings Crandell's...thanks for continuing to allow us all to live vicariously through you. We are still praying for Jenny's recovery. We head to the BVI in about 6 weeks and can hardly wait!

A couple of questions for you: 1. I believe that you have a washer/dryer on your boat. How is it working out? Any mechanical or power issues with it? 2. With the boat now 2 or 3 years old what are your most troublesome components?

Larry Pruitt

David P said...

Great to meet you in Vava'u. Our email address is
A photographer who was on another day with the whales was Jorgen. His site is worth a look.
David & Suesie Petersen