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Tonga Exploration

Jul 11, 2013


Location: Port Maurelle, Vava’u, Tonga
Author: Ryan Fitch
Welcome to another addition of the Argo Blogger. Hello my loyal followers and thanks for continuing to tune into the most exciting action in the South Pacific. Today was one of the more eventful days over the past week. It was out first day on land since we set sail from Rarotonga and it was a much-needed break for most of us. There wasn’t exactly much to see in the town. However, there were a few stores here and there, a decently sized outdoor produce market and some restaurants with tasty food, but it definitely was not as robust as Rarotongas downtown area. I was meant to do some provisioning with Leah and the gang but I got sidetracked with being a taxi service for all my anxious little crew mates. I did manage to catch up to them just before they started bringing the groceries back to the boat. It seems that we could have gotten more fruit and vegetables if we had let them keep one of Eric’s or Nick. They took a liking to them, apparently, and were offering them some free grapefruit. After I was done with taxiing and carrying a few bags of groceries back to the dinghy to be brought to Argo I spent some much needed time on Ryan. I got a cheeseburger at Bella Vista cafe and I suppose you could say I indulged myself with a Coke even though everyone with any degree of sophistication knows that Pepsi is the better of the two drinks. Then from around the corner came Eric and Nick. They joined me for lunch and tried the chocolate shake. It was different from American shakes, though. Creamier or something, I don’t know. All I know is that it was good. Big Eric and I left after we finished eating and went for some provisioning ourselves. We ran out of our food stock after the 6-day passage. You eat a lot of snacks when you are sitting around for 4 hours at a time, multiple times a day. Anyways, the US currency went a long way in Vavau. I was able to get lunch, some cold beverages, and enough snacks to last a few days without having to worry about running out of cash. We were running into the rest of the students all over the place, mostly doing the same stuff that we were doing. I always find it a little bit interesting how it seems that there are as many of us in a town as there are locals. I finished all my provisioning and headed back to the cafe to wait for the pickup time to head back to Argo. Eric and I were lucky enough to get there just before it started to rain on us. The weather here seems to like to soak you for five minutes, let you dry off, then do it again. I like to think that my Meteorology training kicked in and my subconscious told me to get under cover just in time. Then some bot stuff happened. Dinghy ride, projects being worked on, normal boat activity. I know you’ve been waiting for the juicy parts. Dinner and my squeeze question. First off, dinner was amazing. Ben made Chicken Parm. My mind started in a fairly stable state before I had my first bite. Then two seconds later I was transported to a world of pure joy. It was one of the best meals Ive had in recent history. Ive gone back for seconds on pretty much every meal over the 37 days we’ve been here. This was the first time Ive gone back for fourths. As exciting as dinner was, my squeeze question was even better. It was a zombie apocalypse scenario type of question. It was What would be your first move during the zombie apocalypse (in a world similar to The Walking Dead) and how long would the person to your left survive? Everyone seemed to enjoy the question, although I should probably come up with questions that don’t take thirty minutes to answer. People like to eat. Then it was time for our Oceanography presentations. Jenna went first, as it seems she always does and then Mina went. I was third and my topic was on Marine Education. I made a hilarious joke at the beginning. I drew a picture of a school of fish and said This is not what Marine Education is about. They only call them schools, they don’t actually have an education system. Everyone was laughing and laughing. The laughter went on for about eight minutes so I didn’t have to continue with the rest of my speech. See that kids, if you are funny enough, you don’t have to do as much work. Remember that. Then some other people went, but we all know you only cared about mine. Okay fine, Ellie went after me, she was talking about a kind of symbiosis in all-living things. Then Henry went. He had an entertaining presentation, as well. To wrap it up, I’m gonna say I love being skipper. I get to tell people what to do and I’m the first one to be told when we need to do things. Its like having privileged information that you get to tell everyone else. Its awesome. I wish I could be skipper at least once a week. Ahhhh one can dream it is time for watch now so Ill see all of you, my loyal and vigilant followers, in another thirty days.