Tonga to Fiji

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Time to leave warm and beautiful Tonga.
We really enjoyed the Vavau group archipelago. Arriving there both Erik and I said “Höga kusten”!
Yes, several views reminded us of nice sailing areas back home in Sweden.
Now I also know where our so popular Christmas flower “julstjärnan” lives free. It is in Tonga (I have never seen it growing in the wild before).
Love comes easily in recognition. Maybe the Höga kusten and julstjärne –feelings helped us to love Tonga?
Also now that the temperature is much more comfortable makes life more easy.
 
However, we liked Tonga and Vavau very much.
Next time we will also give the other archipelago’s (Ha’apai group and Tongatapu group) in Tonga a chance as well!
 
Out at sea, we new it should be rough with strong winds and big swell.
And it is. Swells of around 4 metres and wind between 20-30 knots (kuling in Swedish).
 
This is a relative short crossing of about 280 Nm. We easily do this two handed, but yes, we are effected by the rolling..
It takes energy from you.
 
Roll on!
 
Pia & Erik
 
 




Vanilj

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Vi besökte vaniljfabriken “Taste of Tonga”.
Tio minuter med jollen in i viken från Nieafu (huvudorten i Vauvau-skärgård) hittade vi detta läckra ställe.
Vi kunde bokstavligen nosa oss fram till den söta, fina vaniljdoften!
 
En underbar australiensare driver tillsammans med sin fru en fabrik för att ta hand om vanlilj och kokos.
De jobbar med målsättningen att allt ska tas tillvara och användas i det dom producerar. Gården köper kokosnötter och vanilj från odlare runt om i Vavau.
För att få ut 1 liter virgin kokosolja går det åt 15 nötter så det blir mycket kokosskräp kvar. En del mals ner till grismat och en del används som gödning på grönsaksodlingen.
Paret driver också en liten restaurang och tar där hand om grönsaker, griskött och kycklingar som springer runt på gården.
Själva vaniljbönorna hanteras varsamt och torkas i eftermiddagssolen. På kvällen –och vid regnskurar skyddar man vaniljen med pressenningar.
Man strävar efter att få ut så mycket vatten som möjligt ur bönan för att den ska bli användbar och hålla utan att mögla. Det är ett riktigt hantverk att kunna känna på bönorna när de är mogna att tas till nästa torkprocedur. Man känner bland annat hur klibbig den är.
Taste of Tonga är i full aktivitet och skapar förstås flera arbetstillfällen.
Deras slogan är:
“It’s not magic. It’s just science in action”
 
Intressant ställe.
Taste on!
 
Erik & Pia





Paradiset Tonga

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Man fär aldrig nog av allt det vackra, det sköna havet och de fina människorna vi möter!
På en ö hittade vi en spansk restaurang. Ett par + en anställd serverade superb tapas, paella och dessert.
Sen stod dom tre för underhållningen och rockade loss ordentligt.
En cool get var deras husdjur.
 
Livet är härligt!
 
Pia & Erik







Sunday -restingday

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Today we enjoyed Sunday in Tonga!
It was like travel back in time some hundred years. The village, Pangaimotu, we walked 25 min to from the bay had 5 different churches.
Most of the Tongans go to church and they dress up in nice clothes. Typically they wear a nice dress an then the waist-mat on top.
Together with the crew from Two Fish and Mierra Nieida we did choose the largest church.
 
Once the ceremony started the heavenly sounds from their singing echoed between our ears and throughout the island.
We heard beautiful, clear harmonies and the whole church was like a choir. Some voices sounded out like a trumpet!
All different ages were gathered and sang together in this Sunday choir. A very special atmosphere!
The priest talked only Tongan language, except that we once heard him saying climate change in the speech..
Yes it would have been interesting to have subtitles!
 
Church, family and friends form the society’s core here in Tonga. It’s not a commercial country and money seems not to be a motivator.
First comes family, then Christianity in the Tongan life.
 
It is expected that visitors respect Sunday as a day of rest.
Erik just read in a book by Kurt Björklund who sailed the Pacific three times.
He wrote about an American sailor who got his boat lifted on the yard after himself.
This was a Saturday. On the Sunday the American started to work with his hull and was told first by people not to work, then by the police -which he told to leave where the “pepper grows”
-and he ended up in jail!
 
So after church, I promise we are taking it easy.
Just moved the boat around the corner, enjoyed some snorkeling and then a simple pasta pesto for dinner on Spirit.
 
Take it easy, it is Sunday!
 
Pia & Erik
 
 



Friendly Islands

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Malo e lelei!
Hello!
 
James Cook stepped ashore Tonga in 1773 and named the archipelago
“The friendly islands”
The people seems to live according to that still today!
 
The Kingdom of Tonga is situated in the heart of The South Pacific and it is the only Pacific nation never brought under foreign rule.
Most Tongans grow their own food, build their own homes and make their own woven clothes.
Tongans wear skirt –both men and women. Nice in the warm climate. But over the skirt they sometimes have a distinct mat, called Ta’ovala (= waist-mats).
This traditional garment is made of woven natural fibre and is not found anywhere else in the Polynesia. In Tongan society the waist-mat is equivalent to a coat and tie. Wearing a Ta’ovala reflects a sign of respect to God, King and Country!
 
Tonga seems to me be more about its people than to its history or its socioeconomics. The Tongans we have met are welcoming, relaxed and generally happy. On my morning-jog’s I try to come a little closer and catch some photos from the children gathering at school or from the little supermarket where you shop from the desk. Everywhere they are just happy and understanding. And I feel I really meet the people. They are not in a telephone call or in another way caught by a mobile phone. The Tongans are present!
 
I read that the Tongan society is guided by four core values –which probably is the ground of the genuine welcome and happy people we meet.
The four core values are:
– Fefaka’apa’apa’aki = Mutual respect
– Feveitokai’aki = Sharing, cooperating and fulfilment of mutual obligations
– Lototoo = Humility and generosity
– Tauhi vaha’a = Loyalty and commitment
 
 
Let’s get out and meet them!
Cruise on!
 
Pia & Erik