Well I was supposed to be gone yesterday…and I was kind of. Turns out that I’m back in Nukualofa after a false start and was able to catch the election coverage today at the Billfish. We got to the bar at 10am Tongan time, which was about an hour before the first of the East coast polls closed and stuck around through Obama’s victory speech. It was an amazing day. We muted the TV and picked songs through all the commercial breaks, and then spent the rest of the time trying to explain the electoral college to the non-Americans. I’m very excited to see what Obama will do. It was definitely worthwhile delaying our departure to NZ.
Speaking of taking off for New Zealand. Well yesterday, I finished taking on water and was all ready to go. I just needed to get out of the harbor so that I could scrub the bottom. Well, there was a northwesterly wind coming in and no real protection anywhere to anchor and dive the hull. I finally selected a spot 6 miles out to the West on my way out of the group. Well, the reef that I anchored behind was only partially awash, and there was quite a chop running while I cleaned the hull, so much so that I was taking a lot of water through my snorkel. Well I got pretty sick and had to lie down for a bit. Not 10 minutes later, Tate came down to alert me to the thunder storm rapidly descending on us. Well where I was anchored was no good, there just wasn’t any protection. So we raised the hook and tried to motor around inside the reefs to avoid the 2 thunder cells coming through. We quickly realized that we weren’t going to avoid the weather, so I decided to just head for the pass through the reef a mile away. It was shortly after that ill fated decision, that a bolt of lightening hit the water right in the pass we were heading for, close enough to blind me for a little while (maybe ½ mile away). So out came the jumper cables to hang in the water from the rigging to give the lightening a path to ground that doesn’t go through my boat. Then it was time to put all the movable electronics in the oven. Once that was done, I went ahead and decided that I wasn’t meant to sail to NZ that day and I slowly motored back to the quay. It looks like the next window to leave won’t be until Saturday, though now I’m beginning to doubt that I’m ever going to make it out of Tonga.