Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In Lifuka, Checked In, Going Diving Today

We arrived OK in Pangai (just a few miles south of where we were anchored before), and have shown our papers at Customs.

We took a half an hour and walked the whole town. We located the Mariner's Cafe (yachtie hangout and wifi bar), 2 or 3 small grocery stores, and the market. The market only had bananas and watermelons. The nice-looking fish market (right next to the open air market) was locked up. The Tourist Office was open, but didn't have much of use. The one brochure they had was the same as we had, that covered all of Tonga (with a useless map of Pangai).

We met some other cruisers wandering around town looking for a trash can (never found one suitable for their bag of trash, so they took it back to the boat. This was Dreamweaver 3 from Oz, on a 6 month sabattical from their jobs in Australia. They had already sailed from Australia to NZ and then up to Tonga, and were already feeling 'behind schedule'. They are going to head Fiji-Vanuatu-New Caledonia, and back to Australia in the next 2-3 months.

We also met our old friends Nick and Cathy on Impala, whom we first met in Ecuador, after they had been dismasted in the Galapagos. We saw them again briefly last year on the beach in Moorea, at the Puddlejump party. They ended up skipping Tonga altogether, and went on to NZ. They are back for their first visit to Tonga.

Dave talked with Fins and Flukes, the local dive shop, and arranged a 'group rate' for a full boat of 6 divers. So we are going today with Impala and Downtime. The weather isn't perfect--still a little cool and windy for our tastes (it IS wintertime here now), but better than it will be tomorrow.

At 05/20/2012 11:30 PM (utc) our position was 19°48.06'S 174°21.33'W

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