A few last photos of Vava'u to illustrate some of the quirky aspects of life here:
A P&O cruise ship arrived for a day last week so the town was suddenly full of pale-faced, perspiring overweight tourists who looked uncomfortably out of place.
|2000 passengers arrive in Neiafu|
|But some stayed aboard to watch the football!|
No doubt the visitor were as entertained as we are by the wide array of fine sporting motorcars on the streets.
|Held together with duck tape!|
|A small chip in the windscreen|
|A secure boot|
The roads were swept and bunting put out and a slightly rickety archway has been constructed over the main street in Neiafu with a welcome banner for His Majesty. With typical Tongan efficiency, it was completed the day after his arrival but he's here for ten days so will get to enjoy it. We were walking towards it on Sunday morning when the royal motorcade swept past:
|The royal 4x4|
|Must be the King!|
We'll try post an update or two from sea but, finally, our thoughts are with Peter & Heidi aboard Stormvogel. They reported on this morning's SSB radio net that they have a serious problem; last night they found water leaking in from the axle of their lifting keel and it seems one of the bearings (newly-fitted in New Zealand) has broken and there was a lot of water sloshing about in the bliges. At one stage they issued a Mayday emergency call but have now withdrawn that, having managed to reduce the water flow to a rate that they can keep up with using their bilge pumps. Thankfully they have 2 other boats, a sailing yacht called Oda and a motor yacht called Southern Star, standing close by with them and they have a call every 2 hours from the Australian rescue centre to check on their progress. Stormvogel has about 800 miles to run to Cairns in Australia so we hope that they can keep on top of the leak until then. We'll update this blog with their news as we get it.