CHECKED INTO NUKU’ALOFA

What a night – the weather and sea turned it on.  We had the choice of going fast with thirty knot winds or sailing conservative and reducing stress on both man and boat.  We went the less stress way – it was still a wild ride and a very wet affair, both from the rain and seawater coming onboard.  After four in the morning the wind started to decrease and by six was blowing a good trade wind twenty knots.

First refreshment in Tonga
First refreshment in Tonga

After a long night, I didn’t get much sleep, we arrived in Nuku’alofa at eight in the morning.  The pilot book advises to call the port and customs when one hour out.  I did call but knew it was a waste of time, no one is listening. We entered the small boat harbour and spent some time trying to find a place to get alongside.  Eventually we tied up alongside a fishing boat so we could jump ashore and clear in.

By midday we had completed the customs entrance, paid our harbour dues and found a place to tie up alongside ‘Ikale’, an old converted Gulf of Mexico crew boat.  With the inward formalities over we headed into town to clear Jessica with immigration., ready for her flight tomorrow.

On the way into town we stopped for some fish and chips on the harbour side.  Cheap and cheerful and great fresh fish.  At the immigration office the clearance for Jessica was quickly done and fee paid.  Now with all the clearances complete, fees paid and papers stamped we could relax.

We had a roam around town, found a café to have coffee and cake, the vegetable market, the general market and a few stores along the way.  Then we had a long walk back to Truce for an afternoon siesta – we were both quite tired.

In the evening, we went to a local restaurant on the waterfront and ate fish again – then back to Truce for more sleep.  So ended our first day in Nuku’alofa.

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