Saturday, 28 July 2012

Tongan Dancing

The night of the tongan feast came to its climax with tongan dancing.   Though there was no glitz, no glamour and was very much a family affair, the energy and fun the performers put into it brought it all together.  from young children to the elderly all got involved. However, I think everybodies eyes were on the older girl's hips.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Blondie and friends

At the Tongan feast we also got to meet some of the locals and this girl in particular was just a beaut.  The people of Tonga seemed so trusting, even leaving this baby on a voyage crew's care for half an hour.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Carva ceremony

After a day or two cruising the vavau group in Tonga, The soren crew had a night a shore at a Tongan feast. As part of the night, we also took part in  a Carva ceremony.  Carva tastes and looks like dirty dish water which may not sound so fun.  However, as the root drink makes you feel happy, clever and relaxed, it's become pretty popular in this part of the world.  Sitting on the floor in a circle, it is custom to clap your hands three times to be served.  The sever is usually an unmarried woman (but in this instance we can call Hannah) and one bowl is passed among the group.

We also had a local musicians to serenade us.

With my three bowls, along with feeling happy and giddy, mostly i had numb lips. however, i think my camera may have been seeing things...

Friday, 13 July 2012

Emil's birthday

How do you give some one a great birthday even when they have to work? You anchor off a topical island, play him happy birthday on the guitar, bake him a cake and put a long legged blond on his knee....

and then at night, you blow up balloons, bring out the party hats and give him a card covered with his favourite things.  

For our only danish boy aboard, I hope it was a good one.

From Samoa to Tonga

The beginning of this voyage included the swing rope and cave pools, and therefore, it rocked even before we started the crossing to Tonga.  I also went aloft for the first time when out in choppy sea, which was one of the scariest experiences of my life. It isn't the height, its the feeling the ship is trying to shake you off.  I also  started a new routine while at sea., doing the 4-8 watch a long with my cooking. 

After a couple of days out at sea we reached 'new potato.' well that's how the captain pronounced it...and its sister island 'new tomato.' Have to say 'new tomatoe' was definitely my favourite shaped islands so far.

 The plan was to clear through the authorities, spend a couple of days here and then head on to the Vavau group of Tongan Islands. However, the couple who deal with visiting ship were away retrieving an adoptive baby and so after a rather rolly anchor, we headed a couple of days sail to vavau. On the way we had our first proper glimpse of Whales.

As the dawn began to rise, Vavua greeted us with calm dead seas and a hundred islands.  

And when we anchored in Neafu  and cleared customs we were free to explore the islands...

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Piula Cave Pools

Because a) our captain and mates are very nice and b) conditions were right, the crew got a few hours a shore whilst at anchor. Dropped off by the tender onto sandy shores, we took a 20 minute walk through a village or two before reaching the Piula cave pools. Nestled behind a theological college, for the bargain price of 5 tala I dived through my first underwater tunnel.  When we got there, our party pretty much had the place to our selves and seclusion is something you cant take for granted. 

 Swimming in the freshwater was a luxury I'd forgotten about. living on a ship, you are surrounded by water, but its horrible to swallow, makes your skin itch and is quick to heat up in the sun. the freshwater was pleasant to have a few gulps, afterwards I felt soothed and clean and was refreshingly cold.  Through the water you could see a lot of fish, big and small.  Going deeper into the cave, with the light fading, i was ready to attempt the underwater tunnel connecting two caves. Only being a few metres long, it wasn't the toughest, however for me it showed how far I'd come in the last few years. Not long ago I could hardly swim and here I was, in the darkness, diving through a narrow passage. Although i hit my head on the tunnel roof, I'm still taking it as a win.

As we were nearly done, the peace was disturbed by non other than the Samoan Rugby team.
With all that we made the leisurely walk back to our rendavue, saying hello as we went (I told you these people were very friendly) and taking pictures of pigs, homes, flowers and buses.  After three hours, Samoa got a hell of a lot better in my books.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Swing Rope

A couple hours motor sail south of Apia we anchored up. And what do you get out at anchor on a Pacific Island? The swing rope, that's what.

Some fall flat on their back

some do acrobatics....

While others dive in head first...

one will do the Buddha.

No matter how you jump

or just let go

the ending is always the same.

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