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Last Day of the Regatta

What a long and fun week this has been. The last day of the regatta finished with a prize giving party at the wharfside hotel in the evening. Before that we did have an interesting day. I spent 4 hours wrestling with the internet at the Aquarium Café. It is a favourite spot, it seems, for cruisers to buy a coffee and collectively wrestle with slow internet connections. It’s quite social as we each wait several minutes for each page to load. I managed to upload a bunch of pictures from the previous day’s events. I also managed to book a flight for Sam to join us in New Zealand. While I was ashore, Ben hosted a chemistry lesson for nine of the kids from Tyee, Kamaya, Stray Kitty & Mojo. Not all his experiments went as planned but from what I heard later it went over well.

Back to the party. At the beginning of the week we had to option to purchase passports which encouraged us to visit places around town and the island gaining points for each visit and even more if we bought things. We gained points for the events we joined in and more if we won any of them. The party included a prize-giving ceremony for the top 11 scorers. As we had stuck together most of the week (and we got Ben’s passport stamped while he was working on the Full Moon Party) we had similar points. Not only did we all make the top 11 we placed near the top gaining a good selection of prizes. Ben and Helen each won two tank dives. I won a 45km 2 person kart ride around the island which I’ll do with Ben. We each earned secondary prizes amounting to a free pizza, a map and a desert for 2 people. All in all this was quite a valuable haul – but very much the icing on the cake for a fun filled week.

The party had some local dancing and a live band. We stayed on till nearly midnight when Helen felt too tired to continue. On the way back to the dinghy it seemed she had a new burst of energy causing her to invite Brian, Brady & Erin from Delos, Jenny from Callisto and Steven and Dorusha back to the boat to carry on the festivities. We didn’t get to sleep until 1:30 – normally (but not recently) quite late for us.

We had planned on scooting out of Neiafu today and seeing some of the outer anchorages. We still don’t have the tracking number for our charger which is getting comical. The Delos crew have invited us to dive on a wreck in the bay here today and we have to sort out and book our prizes so maybe we won’t be out of here after all.

Full Moon Party

The Jackster’s showed up and anchored next to us around midday. We soon had them over to share our experiences of the last few months as well as abandoning our plans to hoist the main sail in favour of a few beers.

Around 6pm we headed ashore to Ano Beach for the ferry service to the Full Moon Party. Sadly, the ferry service was the weak link of the whole evening requiring some folks to wait over two hours for their turn to board and make the passage round to the party. Fortunately we made it over on the second one out so we didn’t have to wait too long.

The party was a lot of fun. A lot of the people we have previously mentioned on our blog were there. Most people on their way to New Zealand this year are either now in Tonga or soon to be arriving. I’m probably missing a few but those that we can put our heads together and remember are : A Cappella, Anthem, Bamboozle, Callisto, Delos, Freezing Rain, Imagine, Inspiration Lady, Jackster, Kamaya, Mojo, Paleides, Passages, Scream, Sea Mist, Trim, Tyee & Visions of Johanna. There were many others and we made some new acquaintances along the way.

A lot of effort had been put into things including three 10 minute shows of which Ben played a part (dressed as a skeleton) in the first and third. Not everything went smoothly but it was all appreciated.

We didn’t get back until after midnight. We didn’t see Ben until the following morning around 11am which I saw him on the ferry. I dinghied over and he jumped in the water to avoid the trip to the beach. He hadn’t slept at all having had the beer and food go free around 3am and partying into the morning followed by helping to clear up.

We have some pictures, courtesy of Ann from Callisto, which will be posted when we can get a connection.

Tomorrow the fun continues so we’ll be off early round to Neiafu.