Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Once in a Lifetiime Event

October 16, 2008--On Monday morning we went with Larry in his "Tuk-Tuk" into Neiafu. This vehicle is a motorcycle-like vehicle with a six-passenger body attached to it. It was loaded with seven people total, so we had a bit of trouble going up the hills on the way into town. Once there we all split up to take care of our different errands.

Steve went straight to Immigration to straighten out a problem with Gary's flying into Tonga. We heard that the airlines would not let a passenger board if he or she did not have a return ticket out of Tonga. Gary will check out of the country with us on our boat, but for some reason, that is not good enough. Steve was able to get a letter from Customs here certifying the fact that he would be leaving on our sailboat. Hopefully, that will take care of the matter. We can't believe that he will be here in just 10 days.

While Steve was working on that, Renee and I went to the Bounty Bar so have our hair cut. We found Billy, who was the one cutting hair, eating his lunch. We decided to run a few errands until he was finished. We went to the market and to a few stores to buy some provisions and then returned. Steve from sv Hannah had slipped in before us so we decided to just sit and have a soda. I was next in line, so when Steve was finished, I went outside. The chair for me to sit in was placed at the top of the stairs leading down to the restrooms, but with a lovely view of the bay. Billy, who was very British, put a cape around my neck and asked me what I wanted. After I finished describing the cut, he began to work. I found out that he had been with a circus in England for some 14 years, and that is where he learned to cut hair. He also worked in hair salons in that country for awhile. He was young with spiked hair, and he was quite entertaining. He and his wife moved here six months ago and have leased an island with another couple. They are living in a tent right now but plan to move into a bigger tent in a few days. I have to say that it was the most interesting hair appointment I have ever had, and just in case you are wondering, the haircut was just fine. It cost me $30 pa'angas or about $16 USD. How many people can say that they have had their hair cut by a former circus member from England in a bar in Tonga.

We have been back here in Tapana since Sunday. The weather is still mixed. We had a couple of partly sunny days, but today we had mainly rain. We have slowly been taking care of small items that need to be done before we leave Tonga. We are also in the process of checking all sails, rigging, and systems aboard. We have also been doing an amazing amount of reading.

We plan to leave today so that we can spend some time at some other anchorages before we return to Neiafu next Wednesday.

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