Leaving Tonga

Luna dancing in the cave.
Ainara snorkeling a japanese trawler.
Genie has been reeling some nice mahi mahi and tuna.
We got a green one.
We have had the chance to meet many children in the Haapei Group that went through its worst cyclone in 80 years last January.
We had the chance to play a soccer game with the kids and exchange some presents.
We even got to catch and eat non ciguateric barracudas.


We are leaving the Kingdom of Tonga, the Friendly Islands as Cook named them.

The time has come to sail into higher latitudes and head towards New Zealand.

It is with great sadness that we leave behind these beautiful islands, their people, always joyful and generous, the outstanding nature and the Tropics which have allowed us to live such simple and spontaneous life and yet so rich in experiences, and full of teaching moments, as we call them, both for each one of us individually and as a family.

1.100 miles lay between New Zealand and us.

Not only a big distance but also a big change, since it means going back to western lifestyle and colder temperatures. This is probably the most difficult crossing we face since we departed San Diego. Cyclone season started 2 weeks ago in the South Pacific and we don’t want to be around when the first tropical storm hits and yet weather in New Zealand is still rough. Springtime still has the strong low pressure systems that cross the Southern Oceans hit Tasmania and then howl across New Zealand in gale force winds, so timing the arrival in New Zealand is critical in order to not get bashed on the final leg. As Jim Corenman put it: you can’t avoid getting pasted, but a worthy goal is to avoid getting pasted twice.

We have been waiting for 2 weeks in Nukualofa, to get a convenient weather window at Big Mamas and its family, together with 20 boats that have been waiting like us for good conditions to depart. On our way down, 250 miles from Tonga we will stop at Minerva Reef. Basically a sunk volcano in the middle of the ocean, which perimeter at the crater has become a coral reef. There are no islands or beaches on this atoll but at low tide one can walk on the reef in shallow waters and try it’s luck catching lobsters. Marine life is pretty much untouched and we look forward to some fantastic snorkeling and diving. If the computer analysis have it right, we expect to continue from Minerva to Opua in New Zealand next Tuesday or Wednesday, but that we will see when we get the latest weather forecast before departure.

Have a great time and we will explain more once in NZ.

Es con gran melancolía que dejamos atrás nuestras queridas islas del Pacico Sur, el trópico, esos pueblos marinos, la vida sencilla, la naturaleza en estado puro.

Nos separan 1.100 millas de nuestro próximo destino: Nueva Zelanda , de la vuelta al occidentalismo, al frío. Es una travesía algo estratégica porque hay que salir de aquí antes de que se acerquen las primeras tormentas tropicales y llegar a Nueva Zelanda entrada la primavera, que de momento parece no querer asomarse. Hemos esperado dos semanas un buen parte en Nukualofa, donde hemos pasado unos días inolvidables con Big Mama, su familia, y los más de 20 barcos que esperan como nosotros el buen momento para partir. A 250 millas haremos una escala en el arrecife de Minerva. Se trata de un arrecife en el medio del mar, sin isla alguna, donde las langostas y los peces de todo tipo abundan. Seguramente hacia el martes o miércoles partiremos de allí para Nueva Zelanda.

Un saludo a todos y os contamos desde Nueva Zelanda..

2 thoughts on “Leaving Tonga

  1. dickweitz November 15, 2014 / 12:49 pm

    Great fishing! Looks like you had a wonderful time in Tongo. Hope you have smooth sailing to NZ.

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