The Elkins Round-the-World Voyage

October 12, 2000

Tongatapu, Tonga


Dear friends, we are still in Tonga awaiting a weather window. Big lows are moving in right now glad we are here waiting. There are boats that have left, some are going to get hit with high winds and seas. Some are in Manervia Reef waiting, but it is supposed to get 35K winds there too.

We have been talking with boats that have Bob McDavitt for weather info. He is very detailed as to when to go. Russell Radio is also very helpful. When you are out there he guides you in the best way to go. To slow up or go a different direction, or whatever he can do. I guess there was a fellow who was a single hander who had an inexperienced crew to help him and the captain was having heart palpitations and they lost sails and the engine and Des stayed with him to guide him in the best they could. They got medical info for him too.

There was also a boat that went on the reef in Fiji recently, they had a captain and a crew person and their quadrants were off or something. They called a May Day and Fiji came to rescue them. No insurance on the boat. So Fiji got the salvage rights. What a mess.

We went into town the other day and took a tour to the other side of the island. We saw the Kings #4 house and the Crown prince's house. We saw a bird park with small colorful parrots and other native birds and a few iguanas. Then we went to the blow holes, lots of them - quite a sight. The tide was on the rise and it got better as we stayed. The water would shoot up to 30' or more. The volcanic reef there was neat to look at - shelves of lava with holes. As the waves would pound the land, water would shoot up these holes and make blowing sounds. There was about a mile of blow holes.

We then went to the Tonga saw mill and of course Dan went back the next day to do some work for them. He set up and showed them how to run a piece of equipment they weren't using. They loved him and wanted him to stay longer. They bought him a case of Coke for the boat. We took the taxi driver out to lunch at John's Cafe and we stopped for bread and Coke. We did a little visiting today, it was nice.

The water by the boat is quite wavy. We get rather wet going ashore to the wharf, how nice. The wharf is medtie - you need help to get into position. Not for us. Would make more gray hairs. I also went to town with Alice from Leviathan.   She ordered meat from a cold storage meat place from New Zealand and we went to town to a craft place and a couple of other stores. We then stopped at Friend's Cafe and had a cappuccino and a scone. Till Later, Dan & Sandy

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