Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday 10th September

Nuku’alofa, Tonga 21 08.317 S 175 10.867 W A very happy 17th birthday Joshua, we hope that you have a great day. Here it was the day I’d been dreading for a while – Abigail was leaving today and flying home. We were up early and ready to take her out to the airport for the 10.00hrs check in. Abigail’s luggage seems to have doubled in size since arriving on the boat, the bag she took home was gigantic, full of all sorts of mementos (some of which I had bought for her along the way from Jacksonville through the Caribbean etc – at least they aren’t cluttering up our boat any more!). We left the boat around 09.00hrs (incase we got lost on the way) and did a detour to the cemetery so that we cold take a coupe of photos of the adorned graves – they are a sight to behold. Next we stopped at the car hire place to make certain that we had the car until tomorrow – we do so that’s no problem. Next stop was the International Airport; it wouldn’t even make the grade as a regional airport in the USA but at least the planes go in and out of it. Abigail checked in, paid her departure tax and then we all went up on the observation deck to await the arrival of her plane. There were 3 flights going out at roughly the same time and none of the planes had arrived yet; they all turned up within half an hour of each other and just 40 minutes before the flight to Sydney was due to leave. Abigail’s flight was the last of the three to leave and by the time it finally took off Gerry and I were the only people watching from the observation deck. We waited until we saw the plane rise into the sky, waving Abigail and Bear off on what we hope was a safe and comfortable flight home. Gerry and I then stopped off in town for some lunch, exchanged our books at the book exchange and then went on the hunt for a pharmacy as I needed to fill a prescription. It took us a while and 2 stops at different places to get the medicine but I now have sufficient to get me home. Gerry checked us out at immigration whilst I was finding out about my medicine; we are planning to leave here as soon as we have a good weather window, which at present looks like being maybe 5 days away. We intend to move away from the harbour area and anchor off of a nearby island for the next few days until we are ready to go. After running around for the medicine we tried to find somewhere that sold club soda in cans and eventually had some success at a service station, it’s difficult to find sugar fee soda here of any sort so we were lucky. Having found the soda we stopped for ice cream and then headed back to the boat for a couple of hours so we could run the engine and charge the batteries before going out to Friends café for dinner. It seems very strange not to have Abigail on board with us tonight, very quiet and not altogether right; I miss her and Bear already.I have tried to attach a video of bear steering at the end of this blog - hope it comes out!
video

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