Yesterday was a damp squid. Rain all Saturday night and Sunday morning. Sunday was overcast, wet and showery, cool all day. Onshore it was very quiet, hardly anyone about, shops all shut. I suppose everyone has gone to church and retreated home, the sort of day you want to have a nice fire and stay put.
Today is sunny with a nice cool breeze. I walked over to the customs office and enquired about clearing out – particularly if I could clear out and anchor out for a day or two. The first customs guy said no problem, I could have 24 hours after clearing out. Then his boss with four stripes came and said no. I would only have an hour to leave after clearing out and I could not go to anchor. He said he had problems with other yachts clearing out and then anchoring for days and it must stop.
I would like to go out and anchor for a couple of days. But if I need to come back into port for clearance its not worth the trouble. I will hang around in Nuku’alofa until it’s time to depart.
The passing of the rain has unleashed a plague of Mosquitoes. These are serious insects, cunning and tenacious. I have the mosquito screens in place buy still they find a way in. On board I have some mosquito and fly spray from Alaska, it worked fine in Alaska – stopping deer fly without any problems. But – it doesn’t seem to worry the Tongan Mosquitos, they just keep coming. One of the disadvantages of being tied up in port.
Later I wandered into town. Everybody is very friendly and after being here for a few days people are recognising me (and me them) and the greeting are turning into conversations. So many of the people I speak with have been to, lived in or have relatives in New Zealand. It seems the remittances from family members in New Zealand plays a big part bin the economy here.
Previously I have extolled the qualities of Tonga bacon. When walking about outside the main town you can see pigs and piglets running around, foraging all over the place. They look happy, contented and plump. Good bacon must be the result of such a life.