Location: Neiafu. Tonga

Today we started off the day by opening our eyes to the splendor that is Tonga. We got out our Sundays finest for a cultural experience at a local church. Words can’t fathom how the music touched our hearts. Our resident music composer, Evan, was impressed by the “sophisticated four-part harmony.” Everyone was very welcoming, including the priest who welcomed us “boat people” to the friendly isles. Most of the men and women were wearing their traditional woven skirts made from mulberry bark and coconut fronds. Sunday is a day of rest taken literally in Tonga, where high noise levels and rambunctious activities are frowned upon. We tried to convince the staff that this meant we shouldn’t have class, but it didn’t work. After church, we went back to the boat for lunch and then a phytoplankton lab. We studied the water around the boat and observed phytoplankton and zooplankton with microscopes. We also tested the turbidity, salinity, and chemical makeup of the water. The small phytoplankton had the likeliness of an alien. After the lab, we had a little bit of free time to catch up on school work. We also had time to shower, and thankfully, the moon jellies were gone during that time, so we were able to shower in peace. After dinner, we had a Seamanship class where we learned about VHF radios. Over.


P.S. Hello mothership, I am doing well. More information to come.