from Eivind & Heidi _______THE
|Moorea - Suwarrow - Tonga, Vava'u
Moon Sea is the romantic name on the sea between Moorea and Tahiti . More beautiful sundown than those we have watched here is hard to come to. On the chart Moorea is shaped like a heart, but the name means “yellow lizard”.
Our limited days at Moorea past to quick. After a few days on overtime we found the time right to sail on. With a beautiful trade wind from behind we hoisted our sails and headed for Palmerston, one of the Cook atolls – we thought…
Thousands of seabirds, turtles and coconut crabs live at this historical strange and still mysterious atoll. Since 1978 it has been a national park. During the “sail season” from May to October ther are park keepers living at Anchorage Island . The Samuela family are guarding the atoll, Veronica and John and their four children Jeremiah (12), Jonathan (9), Tino (6) og Vanni (6). It is their third season at Suwarrow.
When we got in eye sight of Suwarrow we were a little bit disappointed to see how many boats where at anchor there. This did not remind of “an island to onself”, ref: Tom Neal's book. We could count no less than 15 masts at Anchorage Island .
Peder experienced his most remarkable days at Suwarrow. Together with the other children he played the hole day on the island. The Samuela boys are used to take care of them self and each other. Peder could not have got better a better kinder garden, than exploring the life on the island together with the boys. The atmosphere and solidarity among sailors and Samuela family was special. Samuela maid Suwarrow a social place, usually the sailors gathered around the fire in the afternoon for potluck. Time passed and we realised that we had to forget about Palmerston. The days at Suwarrow we will never forget. We wished we could have stayed longer at this remarkable atoll among the Cook Islands . With palm crowns on our heads we waved melancholy goodbye to the Samuela family who followed us to the pass in their boat.
The 800nm from Suwarrow to Tonga was a fast and sometimes wet leg. It rained for hours in a row. The fish bit the hook before lunch every day. In the sunrise the fourth day we could see Vavu'u rising above the horizon.
At night the 17th
of September Empire crossed the dateline. Suddenly we jumped 24 hours
in time. Instead of experiencing the day as the last, we were now the
first to great a new day. If we had sailed in the opposite direction
we would have experienced the same day twice. The locals say that Tonga
is where the day is born, or the land where the sun rises. Others again
would describe Tonga as the country where time stands still…
The church bells can be heard all over Neiafu harbour. In Tonga the people are very religious. The average Tonga go to church three times a week and the day of rest is not to be joked with. On Sundays everything is closed.
Suddenly one day Peder let go of the swimming ladder and said – “Look, I can swim”. After that it was hard to get him out of the water. His favourite activity was to snorkel with Dad and be thrown high up in the sky to make the biggest splash ever. Once more, Dad…
Bjørnar came to visit us at Vava'u, he got some sunny beach days before we sailed to New Zealand . Most important the prestige volleyball game Norway against “the World”. After some though hours on the beach Norway was beaten, we don't like it…
This time we have spent five months in the Pacific. We have chosen to see only a few places. It's not always quantity but quality that matters. With more time in fewer places we have experienced a lot. To look back at the season in the Pacific to try to decide which atoll or island we liked the most is difficult. We are not in doubt that Suwarrow is high up on our list. At Tonga Peder learned to swim. In Tahiti we dived and snorkelled in the clearest water. In Moorea we had the best hike. The pearls from Kauehi have become beautiful necklaces. The sting rays in Marquesas and all the animals in Galapagos are other good memories. What we liked the most is difficult to decide – to much have been fabulous. The only ting we are sure of is that the desire to sail more in these waters are great…
|The coast of Vav'u has plenty of interesting caves.||Diving in Mariners Cawe.||Michael, Josh & Eivind.|
|A proud "driver".||Team Bahati.||
Sverre Erik's birthday,Neiafu.
|Peders favourite activity after he had broken the code of swimming...|
|At a Tonga Feast with traditional dans, music and food - eaten with our fingers as a real tongaen would.|