Farewell to Tonga, Almost

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The Kingdom of Tonga is a very nice place for cruising. Islands everywhere, with protected waters between, and beautiful anchorages. The town has fuel and laundry services and restaurants and a great produce market. It seems a little strange, though — almost every business is run by an ex-pat. Quite a few Americans, plus Kiwis and Aussies, and the grocery stores all seem to be run by Chinese. It’s like there are two worlds here, one Tongan, one ex-pat. The worlds overlap, and everyone appears to get along very well together, but it makes me wonder if there is more below the surface. The ex-pats all seem to love it here. Many have a story about arriving under sail many years ago and never leaving.

In any case it has been pleasant to do some relaxed cruising here for three weeks. Also fun to visit with Chapter Two, Maggie, Tahawus, and Blue Wind. One more restaurant meal tonight, and then we will be cooking aboard for the next three weeks, as we head for some remote places. Wish we could have stayed to see more whales…

We did have one more whale encounter, at a distance.
We did have one more whale encounter, glistening in the distance.

Swallows Cave was a cool place to take the dinghy into.

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With graffiti, even in Tonga.
With graffiti, even in Tonga.
Port Maurelle
Port Maurelle
Port Maurelle
Port Maurelle
Nuku Island
Nuku Island
Lookout tower at #30
Lookout tower at #30
After no waves for three weeks, it was exciting to walk across the island at #30 and see the open ocean crashing on the rocks.
After no waves for three weeks, it was exciting to walk across the island at #30 and see the open ocean crashing on the rocks.
Hiking
Hiking
Exploring
Exploring
You know I don't do underwater photos; this is a through-the-water photo. The blue is a starfish.
You know I don’t do underwater photos; this is a through-the-water photo. The blue is a starfish. The fish is outa this world!

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8 thoughts on “Farewell to Tonga, Almost”

  1. The trouble with commenting on your posts is that the superlatives run out way before the impression they leave! I can easily see myself sailing in and never sailing out! So wonderful to share your discoveries. Thanks so much!

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    1. Zeke,
      We missed you at the 4th of July Lobster bake – 80 this year and all went smoothly-it has been great following your progress
      Cliff

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      1. I very much missed being at the July Fourth gathering. Wish I could say I’ll be there next summer, but that’s not in the plan either. So I’m already looking forward to 2017!

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  2. WHAT A MAGICAL PLACE,,, & MAGICAL ADVENTURE YOU ARE ON, NO REGRETS & LIVIN’ THE DREAM 4 SURE!! *PEACE,AIM
    P.S FISH SO COLORFUL , WATER SO CLEAR ITS RIGHT OUTTA’ FINDING NEMO:)

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  3. It’s been brought 2 my attention i appear 2 be SHOUTING, …lol, sorry if i came across as such,,,,i’m 1 of few who are not on f.b, this is 1st blog i’ve followed, when i email its habit writing in caps, no one gave me the ‘memo’ till now .so when i know better i do better , or try anyway 🙂
    *peace,aim

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  4. I agree with Kit re coming up with new superlatives… I love your photos and commentary. Very interesting to hear about the “2 worlds” …. I am sure there is a lot to learn and contemplate about the impact of colonialism on the indigenous peoples of all the places you are visiting…. I imagine you are looking forward to doing more open ocean sailing for awhile. Good luck! I hope you make it to the remote island you referred to in an earlier post. And I will also echo Cliff…. we did miss you at Indian Point on the Fourth!

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    1. An interesting thing about Tonga and colonialism is that Tonga is the one Pacific island group that never lost its sovereignty to a foreign power. So the language and culture survived better than most places. (This has a downside, that no wealthy government has been pouring money, sometimes referred to as guilt money, into building roads and schools.) But my take is that a form of “economic colonialism” is happening now, not by an imperialist foreign power, but by many individuals with capital who choose to move here. Maybe in Tonga this will be a happy mix — a gentle way to slowly bring about the inevitable changes of “cultural globalization.”

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