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Cabot's Log

9/11 in Tonga

Posted: September 11, 2001

September 11, 2001!!!

We awoke to a message on our Iridium phone from our oldest son, Zach saying they were all OK. As we began to realize what had happened, he called to tell us he was with his two brothers in San Francisco having left NYC two days earlier. To hear their voices as it dawned on us what was occurring has made this new phone invaluable. In a state of shock, we lifted our anchor and sailed off to Niuatoputapu in northern Tonga 160 miles to the south. A beautiful night and almost perfect sail with a 12 knot breeze just forward of the beam listening to the radio all night not bothering to sleep. We arrived feeling very displaced and removed wanting to give support, and get some, and be home. We really missed everyone. Our friends on RENEGADE, Paul and Natalie, have been with us off and on since Panama. They finally got their long waterline working for them and sailed faster than we did. My excuse was that I was listening to the radio too much, but in actuality, Paul has his boat sailing well. It was nice to have some company that night.


September 12, 2001

Niuatoputapu is one of the places in the Pacific we have always wanted to visit after hearing about it on our first trip. It is visited every three months by a supply ship and has an occasional plane land, but is a very isolated island. The anchorage is well protected, the whales frolic outside the reef, some great hiking, and a very friendly population of about 1500. We were adopted by the family of the local health officer who traded several meals with us as well as taking us across to the neighboring island, Tafahi. Tafahi is a perfect volcanic cone with no harbor and a small reef all around it. The village is built on the side of the hill 164 steps from the beach and a local boatman comes out to guide you in through the surf that is probably similar to Pitcairn on a smaller scale. We hiked to the top, about 1100 meters, through many small gardens growing Kava. This is the local intoxicant for Tonga and Fiji and therefore a good cash crop. In Tonga, the men drink Kava a lot, as it is an inexpensive intoxicant similar to marijuana. In Fiji, Kava has much more importance being the traditional gift to a chief when entering his village and environs. In Fiji, the chief controls the waters and land all around his area. As a cruiser we have to present Kava to the chief before we can dive or hike freely in a ceremony called Sevu Sevu. Kava tastes like muddy water.

Where to now?

Previous Log Entry: Teuila Festival in Western Samoa
Next Log Entry: Fun in Fiji and Then Home

Have questions or want to share experiences?

If you have questions about their voyaging, or would like to share similar experiences, email Cabot.

What is Cabot's Log?

The following log and pictures are from Cabot and Heidi aboard CHEWINK, their Lyman-Morse Seguin 49 which Cabot built in 1987 and has sailed more than 62,000 miles. The log follows them as they began their second circumnavigation in 2000 through their current adventures in the Caribbean.

Part VIII: Off Again!

Part VII: Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, Key West, Bahamas, Bermuda, Home

Maine or Bust!
Belize and the Keys

Part VI: New Zealand, Dockwise, Golfito and Rio Dulce

Back in New Zealand

Part V: New Zealand

New Zealand

Part III: Society Islands, Western Samoa, Tonga & Fiji

9/11 in Tonga

Part IV: Through the South Pacific to New Zealand

Part II: Marquesas and Tuamotus

Off to the Tuamotus

Part I: San Blas Islands to Galapagos

Perlas Islands

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