Location: Tonga

Today was epic, a day that could easily have been three days. Breakfast was accompanied by the realization that we had dragged our anchor slightly during the night. After re-anchoring, all shipmates took a hike to further explore and understand marine biology, and the rest of the day was spent between shore and the boat. For those who stayed aboard, the anchor drama continued with re-anchoring at lunch and a third time to a new location with a new strategy in the afternoon. Somehow we snuck in a provisioning run which has proven the flexibility and creativity of the crew. Our options are spaghetti or learn how to cook Tongan. To the surprise of the women at the open-air market, we’re cooking Tongan, complete with taro, tapioca, coconut, pineapple, papaya, breadfruit, Soko (another root vegetable), star fruit, soursop, and our favorite spicy peppers. We’re buying fresh marlin and whole 6 kg snappers, and we’re understanding the meaning of a local, sustainable diet. For dinner plans, our middle man Aloufi arranged a Tongan feast complete with music and ceremonial kava. We went to his home, sat around the feast that had been laid out on the floor and marinated in the Tongan atmosphere; pig’s ear, tuna-fried eggs, sweet bananas, taro, four young Tongan men playing guitar, children, and kava. When we left Aloufi’s, fully and cultured, we carried our stalk of bananas and a woven leaf basket of papaya to a local bar to pass a few hours. Vava’u, Tonga has charmed us. Ofatu (Cheers!)!