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Anthem Adrift
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10/02/2010, Port Muerelle, Vava'u Group, Tonga

Swallow's Cave

October 2+

For those noticing a decrease in spammage over the previous 24 hours, you're welcome. Although I love each and every one of you like a brother or a sister, downloading several dozen movies yesterday prompted dropping last night's edition like a bad habit to delve into new toys.

Before that and after rearranging clothing storage (finding, with some level of incredulity, no mold or mildew) accompanied Jacksters back to Swallow's Cave to motor about then climb into large dry cavern at back. Opening at top illuminating interior kept dragon (one of which is, of course, present in every dark cave) at bay, but trepidation reigned as tunnelage continued into darkness. Had, regrettably, left torch, chainmail and broadsword at boat.

Designing to leave minimum time for boat work, will move, following present rain shower, to new locale with fresh delights. Toodles.


Breathing and Brains, Highly Overrated
10/01/2010, Port Muerelle, Vava'u Group, Tonga

Mariner's Cave

October 1

Austral spring is in full swing. Sun's getting higher and hotter, but nearly froze last night with fresh breeze coming through V-berth hatch. Water is warmer than normal keeping whales farther south and auguring an active cyclone season. Won't be here.

Sailed/motored to Port Muerelle anchorage to join a crowd on "Dignity" heading for Mariner's Cave. No way to anchor there, so somebody (Gary from Inspiration Lady who doesn't like salt water) remained aboard to peddle around close by. Upper entrance is two meters below surface and lower is ten. Everybody made it inside and a few of us got out through the bottom. Obliged to do deep free dive, but once was ample - checked the box, obtained the T-shirt. Looked like a pant load more than thirty feet heading for the surface. I really shouldn't be allowed free run of the planet.

Return to boat left minimum time to prepare for pot-luck/bonfire on beach, so slapped together rice and beans plus concoction of mango, banana and rum that went down like honey-dew vine water (plagiarism alert). My it was tasty (second alert). Pleased to have performed on-wagon recovery last night thus averting irreparable damage. Brain herd maximally strong as all weak cells have now been culled.


A Swift Swallow as Dragon Turns
09/30/2010, Mala Island, Vava'u Group, Tonga

Swallow's Cave

Having completed all onshore tasks, albeit with island time delay, picked up skirts and pranced out of town (foregoing was entirely figurative as wearing of dresses is reserved for special occasions and prancing is just wrong). Glided short five miles on yankee and stays'l (spelling to emphasize cool, salty pronunciation) into Mala Island anchorage with seven other boats including, due to a perplexing oversight, one with children (contrary to popular opinion, there is here no dislike of the little guttersnipe... err, darlings provided they observe legal pedophobe distances).

After frittering away early afternoon with a good book and a couple of winks, refocused on priorities by confirming availability to cruisers (i.e. boat trash) of breakfast at nearby resort restaurant. Then, with good light and a desire to throw off last vestige of torpidity, took inflatable the mile or so to Swallow's Cave for a quick peek (latest update - inhabitants are neither swallows nor terns, but swiftlets (did not make this up... probably)). May return with help tomorrow to fight dragon that doubtless lurks in deeper recesses.


One Day at a Time
09/29/2010, Neiafu, Vava'u Group, Tonga

Tonga Bob's

September 29

Life after regatta has begun as anticipated. Recovery proceeding apace. Listened to nets, dinked in for breakfast, internet and breeze shooting, returned to boat for yankee sun-cover sewing repair, took laundry ashore for wash, finished order for boat shirts, bought neck amulet (no, don't believe in luck) and returned home for this bit of fairy dust. Soon headed to Wonderland for dinner then Tonga Bob's for 5 pa'anga beers and Fakaladies (acquaintees of 801 Club on Duval in the Key of Bones will deduce performance species).

Pondering removal of boat to less distracting anchorage tomorrow barring end of life on Earth or inertia (as specifically applied, not the concept, which is generally well accepted). Vava'u is lousy with great places to drop the hook for diving, whale watching or hangin'. First stop will allow brekkies at a resort and visit to "Swallows Cave" (into which one may drive his dink, but where terns are resident guano producers). Speaking of flocking, as they tend to, 'kid' boats are mercifully easy to avoid, so expect to.


A Ward to the Wise
09/28/2010, Neiafu, Vava'u Group, Tonga

Crow's Nest

September 28

Given potentially free breakfast at The Crow's Nest (didn't work out), procurement of gasoline and boat shirts, Monday Night Football (1300 local) and Awards/Wrap Party starting 1700, this will be another mercifully short effusion.

Regatta over; fun done. Tomorrow signifies return to daily grind of cruising Tonga. Oh, the drudgery. In near future this will hopefully entail an occasional boat job interspersed with long periods of indolence. Neiafu with its cruiser orientation (bars/restaurants/entertainment) is a tarbaby, but other great anchorages in the group may soon provide sufficient lure. Expect to squander another two weeks before easing down to Ha'apai Group. May begin move toward New Zealand end of October.

Time to reprise pirate costume of Full Moon Party for incumbent pillage and plunder at tonight's concluding event (at which will be awarded the coveted cornholer ear-of-corn statue), so will conclude this and depart.


Token Reprieve
09/27/2010, Neiafu, Vava'u Group, Tonga

September 27

Am pleased to accept your gratitude, tonight, for a very abbreviated issue. Day began early, will end late and anticipate an inability to aim fingers at appropriate keyboard buttons upon return to boat.

Special thanks to Angela without whose gift the evening's entertainment would not be possible.

"Alcohol is necessary for a man so that he can have a good opinion of himself, undisturbed by the facts." - Finley Peter Dunne


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