photos from our stay in Tonga

Some Tongan friends getting ready for a Sunday outing

We spent about three months on Tonga last year while waiting for privateer to be built doing a house sit for the owners who returned for a stateside vacation. See my earlier post on the Tonga house sit. These are some photos from the trip that I am finally getting around to posting.
The resort is called Treasure Island Tonga, and is a popular place for swimming with the whales in season. This was the off season. No whales, and no tourists. Just the two of us on the island. Quite an experience

and our personal sunset

Our main job was to be sure the resort was ready for a cyclone. Here the workers are covering the dock with netting. They tied down all the structures and then we took them back to their home island to weather the storm. It turned out to be just a glancing blow to our island so we were lucky. With no services, there were none to loose! Plenty of water and our little Honda generator filled in for the drained batteries once the solar quit.

I photographed this fish every day for three months. Got only a few in focus



This was our “car” for three months. About 10 miles by boat to the nearest island with any services
we needed to get the boat off the beech at night. Cyclone season. This block and tackle worked, but it took more than Lisa and I could provide for muscle power
one day we hiked the back side of the island
the views from the windward side were impressive
the view from our falla, a thatched roof sleeping hut
Lisa doing pots and pans duty
Laundry day. The “hat” was for protection from the falling cocoanuts
a trip around the Vavaau on a go cart of sorts
Lisa chatting with a local legend

usually plenty of goods at the store, as long as you only need flour and sugar
our local work team takes time off for a traditional slow cooked lunch. They fed us well
Our work team came out to the island a few days a week to maintain the huts. palm fronds needed to be replaced every few years and it was tough work
these guys were pretty good sailors. But they thought nothing of putting 10-12 guys on a boat this size. They would stay out for 2-3 days fishing then come to our island to sleep for a day or two. We got fresh fish in return.
we usually came into Vavau once a week or so for provisions.We shopped for us and to feed the work crews that were with us mid week
one day we ran low on Heineken. A major crime. I hired a local charter skipper to bring emergency supplies in time for happy hour.
We beach the boat with the help of our trusty island dog.
It was the off season so the market was not as full as usual but we were able to stock up regularly with at least something fresh. Fresh tuna from the fishermen was $1.50 per pound.
I stayed pretty busy keeping the place running. Solar panels, batteries, generators, water catchment and the like
these guys are pretty good boat handlers. But they dont mind putting 10 big guys on a boat designed for four.

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