Saturday, 3 May 2014


Sunday 4th May
Hmmmm    a lot has transpired over the last couple of weeks, where to start?!  We stayed in Nuku’alofa on Tongatapu and finally got all our immigration and customs sorted.  Did the usual, shopping, jobs, cleaning etc and explored the town.  My flew in on the 24th and we did a tour by taxi around half of the island, was pretty cool I guess, but it’s not really a tourist destination.We spent almost a week visiting the small islands around the area and whilst enjoyable, there were other issues on the yacht which detracted from the mood on board..

Cyclone My was back and stirring up all kinds of trouble, continuing her arguing with JP and anybody else who dared have a different opinion to her.  It was incessant, regularly continuing for up to an hour over the smallest matters and simply degenerated the mood of everybody onboard.  This was not the type of environment I wanted to be in, especially with the limited English, and I was ready to call it quits, all the evidence was mounting that these were not the right shipmates for me.

 She then proceeded to inform me that my sportfishing was not allowed as she believes it hurts the fish and they all die anyway, which is absolute crap.  Ok, it probably does hurt, but I’m sure they would much rather a little pain and be let go again, than be bludgeoned with a bat or spiked in the brain.  ‘We only kill something if we are going to eat it’, she claimed.  I totally agree.

If she felt so strongly about this, it probably would have been better to tell me before I gave up my travel plans in Vietnam, raced home to only briefly see family and friends, packed a huge amount of gear and flew myself to New Zealand to spend 2 weeks helping them get their boat ready.   I was very clear on my intentions to fish every spare minute we had and couldn’t believe she was telling me this now after all the time, money and effort to join this boat.

I nearly lost the plot when My pulled a barracuda out of the freezer and threw it away because it was a few weeks old (what happened to not killing unless you eat it), telling me ‘No worries, you can catch more ?!   That is one of my biggest peeves, people who kill fish and don’t use them, plus she then had the nerve to tell me I could simply catch more, that I would be permitted to fish when it suited her!

There were many other things that occurred which I won't bore you with, but I had made my mind up already and  this just sealed the deal.  I told them I would be getting off the boat and not continuing on with them.  A shame as I loved the boat and JP really was a nice guy, but I wasn’t going to spend any more time in that environment, there is no point visiting exotic places and trying to have fantastic experiences with the wrong people.

George and I actually did become more like mates through the ordeal of putting up with My together!  In his defence, I don’t think he was trying to be an ass towards me during the voyage, I just feel he is not very socially aware.  In fact, perhaps it is true what people say about the French being arrogant, it seemed that way, they were all very oblivious to other people and seemed to have this manner of entitlement. 

A quick example, George and I took the dinghy to a little island not far from the yacht.  It was obviously a private island and they were building some bungalows, but we pulled up on the beach. (I wasn’t driving)  I got talking to a foreign guy there and George wandered over while we were chatting and informed the bloke that he would be going for a walk around his island.

I said ‘hang on a minute, how about you ask this guy first if it’s even ok’.  Which it would have been anyway, I’m sure, but that sort of social respect and manners is just normal to me, and seemingly completely foreign to my French shipmates.  The thought to ask permission was totally alien to him.  Small example, but to me it was extremely rude to just assume you have the right to do whatever you want, wherever you want.  These kind of faux pas’ were very common and I couldn’t imagine myself travelling with people like that when we were ashore.

So to sum it up, George isn’t so bad, we just come from completely different worlds obviously and I try to be more aware of my surroundings and people.    I actually got accepted into University about 12 years ago after sitting a STAT test (I left school at 14) to study Psychology, as I do take a keen interest in human behaviour.  I never really did anything with it at the time, I was working over 50 hours a week and it was just not a course to be done by correspondence.

So here I sit in Tonga at a guesthouse, I have a ticket booked to Fiji on Tuesday and will have a look around there for a while.  Unsure how long I will stay, I am not really geared up to backpack around, I have a LOT of gear that I can hardly carry at once, plus it is all expensive.  Undecided now about trying to find another yacht in Fiji or just having a short break and heading home.

It was another awesome adventure, something I never dreamed I’d be doing a couple of years ago, it definitely felt like I was meant for that kind of life, I’ve always felt at peace on the ocean.  I gave it a go, had an awesome time, loved every single minute of it but sad the crew weren’t the right fit for me.  I’ll never forget it and as always, never regret it.  I’ll be back on another yacht soon, just need to be more particular about who I go with, but sometimes you just never know until you go.

Who knows where I’ll end up next…   stay tuned!

Some sights around the island

Back at sea

A church, one of the nicest buildings in town, further proof that Jesus has plenty of money!

Holy crap..  Elvis IS alive and hiding out in Tonga!