|Catholic church, Neiafu|
However the main reason to be there was to hear the singing and we were not disappointed. A choir of about 40 sang wonderful unaccompanied four-part harmonies but the rest of the congregation joined in with enthusiam (and without hymn books) so the sound was almost overwhelming. The music was lovely.
Religion is a vital part of Tongan life so whole families attend, dressed up in their finest. Both men and women wear the Ta'Ovala, a ceremonial waist-mat made of woven pandanus leaves that is unique to Tonga. In Tongan society the Ta-'Ovala is equivalent to a jacket and tie and wearing it shows respect to 'God, King and Country'.
|The view across the anchorage from the church|
|Ta'Ovala plus random dog tail|
We'll be back out into the islands over the next few days - some more unsettled conditions are forecast this week so we'll find some sheltered anchorages and enjoy the snorkelling. Meanwhile we have a few boat jobs on the list, as ever!