Blue Pearl - Tonga

We'll be arriving in the Lau Group of Islands tomorrow morning. This small archipelago is part of the country of Fiji where we will spend the next 3 weeks. We left Tonga yesterday morning (Saturday) having arrived there from Nuie on Monday. So we spent 5 days in Tonga, which is also an archipelago, but did not venture beyond the harbor we arrived at and where we checked into the country.We didn't see anything of Tonga beyond the small town ashore and the botanical gardens which are owned by a talkative gentleman (I forget his name) who is proud to show people around and tell them the story of his life including the facts that he inherited the land ,that is now his botanical garden, at age 8 and that for a number of years he was the minister of agriculture, fisheries and
something else that escapes my mind. It was an interesting visit..!

We did have some nice entertainment in Tonga, dinners organized by the rally and a "drag" show which was a bit of a surprise because we were not expecting it. At most of the rally stops we have been entertained by local dance troupes so this time we expected more of the same. It didn't take the keen observers that we are long to notice that the ladies who showed up to perform this dance evening were in fact of the wrong gender to wear the dresses they did. Some did a pretty good job some others required just listening to the music and keeping the eyes closed. We did have fun though.

So my main observation about Tonga is that it is a place to revisit. It is unlikely that we will but it is clearly a very nice sailing area that we weren't able to take advantage of because of the rally schedule there and our late arrival resulting from our unplanned return to Tahiti for some boat repairs.

We are planning to do a better job exploring Fiji. We are looking forward to Laurie's return to the boat. She left in Tahiti to go home for a few weeks but will be with us again soon. We have missed her.

Captain Ruud.

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