Saturday, 6 August 2016

From Tonga to Fiji with Love...

Tupou from "Utule My Tongan Home" invited us, along with Francesco and Felicia
to attend church with her on Sunday.

The elders of the church have a Kava Ceremony before the service begun

Her lovely old doggie joined us at Church and enjoyed sleeping under the pew
between walking around everyone to get some Sunday "love"

We offered to then cook lunch at Tupou's home
- obviously homemade Pasta by Francesco and Felicia

and I made Apple Strudel for dessert.
It was a really lovely long afternoon lunch.

One of the wonderful things about this life we have, is meeting so many wonderful people
However, one of the very hard things is also saying "until we see you again" to them
and the time had come for us to say "until next time" to Felicia and Francesco.

Richard and I put on a lunch for this happy, but sad occasion
We had all had so much fun and laughter together...

So it was time to say goodbye Tonga, and a 3 night passage to Savusavu Fiji
We caught Mahimahi along the way
The fish is the most amazing color, which changes as life ebbs

On arrival at Savusavu Tonga
we were greeted on the radio by Jolene from Waitui Marina...

Jolene organised the various officials to come to Our Rose.
Jolene made our arrival to Tonga and subsequently our stay here an absolute pleasure,
helping us with  everything she possibly can.
For our cruiser friends following, we would highly recommend Jolene at Waitui Marina.

Anyway, our arrival day happened to also be my birthday.
By the time we had cleared with officials it was late in the afternoon,
so Richard decided that the next day could also be my birthday.
Along with Carola and Jim from Koza, we headed to Daku Resort for lunch.

When the resort heard it was my birthday (albeit the day before)
they came out with a candle and singing Happy Birthday

while there, we met a lovely group of people
who were there with a fantastic artist ( for a art course.

In true Jen form, after a wine or two,
I invited them all back to Our Rose for Tapas and Wine the following afternoon.

Including Jim and Carola, there were about a dozen of us...
My tapas were made up of Tuna 2 ways, Crayfish, NZ Sirloin, Spicy Pawpaw Salad, Fresh Bean Salad Oriental style, Balsamic Tomatoes, Fresh Bread Rolls and lovely fritters Carola made.
Of course, this was all followed by Pavlova!

Some of the crowd in the photo below

It was a really fantastic afternoon/evening,
the guitars coming out after many liquid refreshments and the cuban cigars (hahaha)

A few days later,
I went up to look at the artwork they had completed during the week
it was really amazing!

Chris ( gave Richard and I this beautiful painting 

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You...

We have the perfect pride of place for it on Our Rose.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Great Times with Great Friends...

We were so excited - Hils and Doug were coming, 
after not seeing them since leaving home over 4 years ago, 
you can imagine the catch up was going to be "BIG"...
After arriving here in Vava'u, we found the provisioning for Meat, Chicken and  Cheese appalling, so I put a SOS call in to Hils and Doug and said - "Please bring meat",
so along with the obligatory Jaffas, Pineapple lumps and Yoghurt sachets,
they brought beautiful NZ Sirloin and Lamb Racks

It didn't take long to Hils for find a comfy spot

and our first dinner together, Hils and Doug already looked relaxed...

We had so much fun together, and in no particular order of the holiday the following photos show lots of food, wine, fun, snorkelling, diving (the only photo that didn't come out was the whales!).

Swallows Cave the light was beautiful

Francesco and Felicia joined us for many get togethers with lots of laughs and wonderful times...
and the most fantastic homemade pasta
Hils having some lessons with Francesco...

Francesco and Felicia...

and the nights that started with this

tended to end up like this...
(and yes that is Hils pole dancing hahaha)

sometimes Francesco would make special coffees and Doug would enjoy a cuban Cigar

in between all this partying we also did lots of other things

Scuba Experienced...

Doug and Hils

After Snorkelling and Hils enjoying the sun while sailing

Phil and Fay from Jigsaw kindly offered for us to join them in the 4 July race
What fun!  Jigsaw was all dressed up with her flags before the race and it was great seeing most of the boats behind us

We had a "dress up" dinner to celebrate a very early birthday for the girls enjoying some very special wine that Doug and Hils had brought over from New Zealand...

we had Smoked Crayfish and Smoked Tuna as an entree...

followed by NZ Lamb racks, Lyonnaise Potatoes, Ginger Carrots - with this gorgeous bottle of red!

At a village we went to at Hunga Haven, we met a lovely local lady who was weaving a mat in preparation for a wedding - this mat was 15 feet long and 7 ft wide

On our last evening together we went to 'Utule My Tongan Home"
Tupou invites you to her home, where you experience Tongan feast and cultural performance
it was really a great evening...

with Molly from Yollata invited to join the girls dancing

It was a wonderful two weeks, with wonderful times.  
Hopefully this sunset will be one of many we will all experience together in the future...
Thank You Hils and Doug for joining us...

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Wonderful People...

Our friends Wendy and Ian from Outsider had let us know that if the weather was right
that we would not regret stopping at Maupiti and Mopelia...
The entrance to Maupiti was nerve racking, with a pass in the reef, where the current ran fast
and a dog-leg entrance, Richard helmed and I did the throttles, maintaining enough power so that we didn't lose steerage of Our Rose.  It was beautiful there.

After a couple of days, we then did a overnight sail to Mopelia
This pass was extremely narrow - only 40ft wide between the reefs
with a outgoing current that was fast!
These passes made the passes in the Tuamotos feel very tame!

Mopelia has only 20 people living there.
The family that we spent all our time with, were people introduced by Wendy & Ian.
They were the most wonderful people.
On our first day, we were invited to dinner with the family
Crayfish, Marinated Fish, Fish Kebabs, Coconut Crab, Rice, Salads - amazing

We had only planned to be there for 4 days, however this turned into two weeks
as the weather was not conducive for us to leave.

What an amazing two weeks we had!
On arrival day, we were given these beautiful necklaces

During our time there, Richard got up at 4am and went fishing with Hio (son)
Hio's uncle caught a huge Wahoo, which was then shared with the 6 cruising boats,
we smoked our piece (the photo is of the smoked wahoo on a "dinner plate"!)
It was a big fish!

Richard also went crayfishing with Hio
This entailed going at night to the reef, and the crayfish "walk" over the reef and you pick them up
Easier said then done - Richard "saw" one, Hio got a sackful

We also met and spent time with Francesco and Felicia (cruisers)
Francesco is from Italy.
One night, Francesco decided to make homemade pasta for us all - delicious!

Our contribution to all this wonderful food was cakes and desserts - that was what was requested, so I baked often.

I even made them sausage rolls - a kiwi favourite!

Hio also gave us a huge tray of sea bird eggs, so of course I had to make them a Bacon and Egg Pie

Hio tagged a turtle, and we were there for the day of release to freedom


The location is absolutely gorgeous... what a place to be "stuck"...

Francesco has gone "coconut crabbing" with some locals, 
and he had caught some fish, so we had a bbq

As we had the weather window to leave Mopelia, 
it was a sad day saying goodbye...

We were again presented with these amazing necklaces and earrings from the family...

We had 1140 nm to get to Tonga... due to our delay with the weather, we needed to get to Tonga for Hils and Doug who are arriving on 29th... just under 8 days and we arrived,
however along the way, fishing was good...
catching this Tuna on homemade toothpaste lure 
(thank you Ian - Outsider for showing us toothpaste lures)

the other excitement was hooking a Marlin on a toothpaste lure also, 
by the time I had run in to get the camera, it was off...

So then it was hello Vava'u Tonga

We went yesterday to a "Tongan Feast" - what a gorgeous spot

with delicious suckling pig...