Monday, September 22, 2008

Soaked in Vava'u

September 23, 2008--We are still in Tapana enjoying the beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, it has rained every day since we arrived here on Friday. We were lucky enough to pick up a mooring ball, which can be more secure. We wanted to be on a mooring ball because the original forecast for this past weekend was winds from 25-30 knots clocking around from north to west to southeast. There are very few anchorages that give protection from all those directions. Luckily, the winds were not as high as predicted, and we were very comfortable at this location.

Saturday afternoon it rained so much that we dammed up the side deck and let the rain water flow into the deck fill for the water tanks. We were able to top off the tanks easily, and then we began filling our three large buckets so that I would have water for laundry. I had just picked up my laundry on Friday but found that the clothes were not cleaned very well and smelled dusty--probably from being hung outdoors so I needed to re-wash them.

On Saturday evening we went over to sv Scarlett O'Hara for dinner and to celebrate Steve's birthday. Renee cooked a pork roast with scalloped potatoes, and I added coleslaw. After dinner we lit candles on the chocolate cake that I baked, and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to Steve. We had a fun evening catching up on their exploits for the last two months. John and Renee took a different track when we all left Bora-Bora. They headed to Suvarov while we headed to Penrhyn.

Most of Sunday was spent on the boat. In the morning we did dinghy over to the "ARK" to pay for our mooring ball. Larry and Sheri sailed here on a Phillip Rhodes designed double-ender in 1983. They are now here permanently and live on a home-built, floating ark or houseboat that is about 10 by 20 feet. Half of the ark is living quarters and the other half is set up to display Sheri's paintings of Tongan life and marine life. Steve and I purchased two reproductions that were lovely. The outside of the ark is painted with a sea scape and marine life, and it is quite unique. They have about ten mooring balls in this anchorage that they rent for $10 pa'angas a day or about $5 US. I was able to wash most of the clothes and linens and get them hung out to dry before the rain started again.

Monday we relaxed and read. I did my last load of laundry in the morning. The day looked promising; however, it was overcast with small showers all day long. The air temperature has been around 75 degrees and the water temperature is down to 77 degrees. The days and nights are much cooler than Samoa, and when we asked Larry if this was normal for September, he said that it was not. We have actually seen quite a few cruisers with fleece jackets on lately.

We had planned to leave today but may stay a day or two longer depending on the weather. We don't have a lot of time here before we head south again, so we hope to have nicer weather in which to enjoy some of the lovely anchorages in the area. We will keep our fingers crossed. Closing on a "good news" note, we did get our dinghy key back. Sia on Niuatoputapu found our key in their van and asked another cruiser to bring it to us.

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