Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stuck in Tonga (Paradise)

It is surreal to be contemplating discomfort while sitting in front of my beach hut, watching the flat calm ocean gently kissing the sand. Absolute beauty, even the mosquitoes can't ruin this tranquility.... Slap... Ouch.... The bugger....The ship yard have yet to fix the crane so Talisker Bounty Boat remains firmly in its shipping container while the crew relax and undertake less demanding task, for me that involves writing this blog, sat here, armed me my ever faithful cup of earle grey tea, its official.... I am happy..... The calm before the storm springs to mind....Tonga... A beautiful island... so rich in culture. A significant part of our shared history we now plan to re-enact with this expedition, this has been embraced by the locals, both pleasing and a surprise to me.... "Are you the crew on Bounty?" A local asked while going about my business, yes I replied with a sense of pride and humility. While the pride may be premature, humility is appropriate when you learn of Tonga's rich history on the water. I am grateful to have met Mark Belvedere an american who has made Tonga his adopted home for the last ten years. Mark proved extremely knowledgeable and passionate about igniting interest in the Tongan's history on the water. Painstakingly rebuilding a Cahlia, a historic boat, I believe unique to the islanders. Admiring the Tongan craftsmen skills while they worked, I talked with them, listening to their stories I had to pinch myself to be sure I really was here. Over lunch Mark captivated our imagination while discussing the potential speeds (in the late 30 knots) of a modern Cahlia while we compared to the expected 5 knots on board Talisker Bounty Boat, our more graceful pace, not compensated by comfort or style.... I wondered if Don was already planning another adventure? How far did the Cahlia's sail? A race across the pacific in Cahlia's? Who knows.....If anyone knows more details about the Cahlia please leave a comment for us.Chris is settling, though seems a more introverted this last 24hours, I wonder if he feels a little daunted or overwhelmed? It is a very BIG step for him, and this expedition will no doubt shape the rest of his life. I confess to experiencing a healthy dose of envy of him to be embarking upon a life of adventure so early. The rewards will be well deserved.... He is clearly focused with a degree of emotional maturity that I couldn't claim... Until.... Oh.... Maybe 20... 30... 40.. Ok, some day soon... Its an honor and privilege to have Chris on board! Now bulk up on the food you skinny runt!David

1 comment:

Tonga Visitors Bureau (Ministry of Tourism) said...

The ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ crew meet His Majesty King George Tupou V:

Tonga Visitors Bureau (Ministry of Tourism)
Phone: +676 25-334