09 November 2011 | Pangaimotu, Tongatapu, Tonga
It's a nice feeling, sorting out. Taking a cupboard or a box under a bed, sorting it out, cleaning, checking for 'hitchhikers' as the NZ biosecurity department calls them. And we have found some. The wooden drums we bought in Greece harboured a few wood eating creatures which had rendered said drums into a pile of sawdust. So it was good we found them. I've put all the potential banned items (straw, shells, wooden ornaments) into one box for the customs official's easy access when we arrive.
Mark and I yesterday started cleaning the hull, we've only managed to clean above the waterline so far, but below will need quite a bit of attention too as once again we are not allowed to take hitchhikers into NZ, even of the watery variety.
We've been following the progress of the yachts that left last week for NZ, with their course and wind strength so we can get a better prediction for ourselves. And we nearly got an extra crew member – someone from Jersey who is living in NZ at the moment but unfortunately his last exam doesn't finish until after we will have left so we'll just have to do it ourselves, which is a shame but I am sure we'll be fine.
I've contacted the local Baha'i community here – there are 4000 Baha'is in Tonga and on Saturday we'll be joining them for their celebration of the birth of Baha'u'alla which should be fun.