Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dive Tonga

Wow I haven't written a blog in a long time! So many things have gone on.
First, there was the Vava'u Regatta. Vava'u is the name of the group of
islands we are in right now. Anyways, during the regatta we participated in
all sorts of activities that were held (kids day, corn hole tournaments, and
a race). It was really fun! Then at the end of the week, Ami and Rick on the
boat Tara Vana came to stay on Zen for a few days. We met them in Cartegena,
and since they were back in the States for a little while, they had some
free time to come and visit us in Tonga. They aren't really sure whether or
not they want to sail across the Pacific themselves, so apart from visiting
us, they were able to understand what the Pacific is like. We had lots of
fun, and Daddy, Ami, Rick and I went on some awesome dives together. On one
of the dives, we got to go into a really cool little air bubble about 50
feet below the surface. It was just a little cave underwater, but if you
went up to the top of it, there was a little spot where you could take out
your regulator and breath regular air! It was so cool and the water in that
one spot was really warm. At the end of the 10 days that Ami and Rick were
with us, they went back to town and stayed at a hotel for a little while to
experience land life in Tonga as well. When they were in town, we explored
many of the 'outer anchorages' where there are no people. All of the
anchorages are really amazing. Right now we are in a little bay called
Manamita with our friends on Dosia and one other boat that I don't know.
It's just a little, protected lagoon surrounded by a reef. Today, while the
adults went snorkeling and Cole and I did school, we all saw a couple of
huge humpback whales breaching right outside the reef! I've never seen
anything like it...the whales came diving out of the water and, as if in
slow motion, fell back into it sideways. It's so cool to watch the whales
play. Also, even though you would think that something so big would make a
really low sound, their 'songs' are actually really high pitched. Sometimes,
while we are swimming, you can hear them. Anyways, I'm just so amazed at how
fast the trip has gone! We will be in New Zealand within the next three
weeks depending on the weather. A few days after we get there, we will move
into an apartment so that Zen can get hauled out of the water to get some
work done (we're repainting the hulls and redoing some of the interior
stuff). Well, Dosia is here so I've gotta go, bye!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Asian Feast on Zen

August 31: So right now we are underway to another anchorage where we will
meet up with Bravado, but last night we had an Asian feast on Zen with Brick
House, Flashback and Dosia. There was delicious food; rice noodles with
vegetables, chicken and a sauce on top...traditional Indian dhall and
rotis...3 fish curry and a pineapple, banana and Nutella spring roles. But
anyways, I'll start from the beginning: When everyone first arrived, and was
just settling down, Jeff on Flashback looked out the window and said 'oh
shoot'! Margie on Dosia also looked out and said 'Hey Julie! Your boat's
floating away!'. We all ran out onto the back deck, and sure enough,
Flashback, the big boat, was floating away. It's anchor must have broken
free from the sand, dropping off the ledge that the boats were anchored on.
So the guys went out to save Flashback while we started setting up dinner.
Luckily they got the boat back and safely anchored. We all had a really
delicious dinner, and everyone lived happily ever after. The End.

Cocpaw Goat Island

September 1: So I bet you are wondering what Cocpaw means. It is actually a
mixture of the two words coconut and pawpaw (papaya), and is the name I gave
to an island that Mommy, Daddy and I just explored. It was pretty small, but
had lots of cool trails to explore. So Mommy, Daddy and I (Cole was doing
school) went ashore to the little, uninhabited island and started to
explore. When we first arrived, we walked into the center of the island
where there were a few trees and bushes, but looked as though it had been
burned from a bonfire. We saw a bunch of coconuts on the ground and so Daddy
went to try and break one open so that we could eat and drink the meat and
water in the center. Because coconuts are really hard, and have an extremely
strong outer coating, we were unable to break it open without a knife, but
settled with taking a bunch and putting them in the dinghy for later. The
next thing we discovered (much to Mommy's delight, and not much to mine) was
a pawpaw tree. It was a smallish tree, but still had multiple pawpaws that
were easy for us to grab. We also took about 6 of those and put them in the
dinghy for us and our friends. Not seeing any other treasures around us, we
decided to try and circumnavigate the island. We started on the beach,
walking along the sand and broken bits of coral, completely dry and happy.
But the road started to get a little rough and we eventually found ourselves
in mid-thigh deep water, walking on the slippery coral beneath us. We were
still having fun..everything around here is an adventure. On our left side
was a wall, about 10 feet tall, of coral/rock that had been beaten away at
by the waves. We soon came to an opening that you could climb up through and
get to the land part of the island. Daddy climbed up first and surveyed the
area. I couldn't see him from below, but he said it looked like there was a
trail that we could follow. So Mommy and I climbed up as well and followed
him. There was a goat trail (there was goats on the island so it really was
a trail made by goats) and we followed it to the other side of the island
stopping every once and a while to look out to sea and try to spot
whales..we didn't see any sadly (there was a whale watch going on and we
wanted to participate..we had spotted one whale earlier that day, but were
hoping to see another). Soon we came to a small, but slanted hill that went
down to the beach..where we had hoped to get to eventually. So we slid down
the hill, trying not to get covered in the soil that would easily stain our
clothes. Back on the beach, walking to the dinghy, Daddy saw a goat. It was
a big goat with big horns. "Well this guy is worth taking a picture of"
Daddy said. Whistling a little bit, Daddy coaxed the goat toward us so that
he could take a picture. As we started to walk away, Mommy came up behind us
and also started whistling at the goat. Well, he came right onto the beach
and started to come at us slowly. When we started to walk back to the
dinghy, he followed. Okay, so when you are being followed by a goat who's
back is at your waist and has 2 foot horns with pointy points, you tend to
look behind you a lot when you are walking. Daddy realized that the goat
would't come near the water. Well, I ran for the water. Upon reaching the
dinghy, the goat started to rub his head against it. "He's going to pop the
dinghy!" Daddy said as he grabbed an oar to whack the goat with. Anyways,
Mommy got the dinghy in the water while Daddy fought off the goat with an
oar. It was scary at the time, but hysterical when I think about it now.
Well, we just arrived back into the main harbor and the sails are coming
down..gotta go, bye!