Tonga 5

May 24, 2019

Everything went fine last night, at least until the end of my watch. After that, I went to sleep and someone else (Joe) worries about things. You can see the radar image – the squall just kept reforming on top of us but never really did much. Griselle said she got rained on later in the night during her watch as well. 

We can see all kinds of storm clouds tonight but are doing our best to dodge them. So far, only a few drops of rain. The rain is welcome because it rinses off the boat and cools things off but it makes sleeping more challenging because we have to close all the ports (windows on the vertical surfaces of the boat) and hatches (windows in the horizontal surfaces of the boat) so it can get quite steamy inside.

Usually I spend a good portion of the night closing all the ports so beds and books don’t get wet, then opening them to make sure he kids are comfortable, then closing again when it rains, opening, etc. I’m not sure the kids really care what happens with their air circulation but I can’t seem to let them swelter so I continue to play my window games.

We have 35 miles to go and are motor-sailing once again. This means we are running the engine with the sail up in hopes that the wind will assist the engines somewhat. We are headed dead into the wind so the sail is doing nothing to help at the moment. 

We are averaging 5 knots so should arrive around 5 in the morning. This gives us an hour to kill before trying to get in through the pass at daylight (6ish). All the boats were advised not to try the pass at night and we have no desire to run aground or scrape on coral so we will bide our time until daylight. We have a knack for night arrivals – o matter the weather or distance, we always seem to arrive at dark- good to see this is no different.

Today was a special day on the boat. Chris and Griselle celebrated their anniversary and we hosted a romantic sunset evening for them. The kids helped set up a table on the foredeck with pipe cleaner flower bouquets, wine, cheese and a card. Marin delivered the flowers, Cobin was the server, and Tully played the harmonica and continued to check to make sure they were OK. In spite of all the aggressive attention from the kids, I think they might have had 1-5 minutes to themselves.

Earlier, Chris taught a fun Spanish class with verb conjugations and bubbles. The kids finished up their science unit on ecosystems and all three did well on their tests. Next we will begin the Science of Toys! Thanks to our earlier guests, Susannah and Jamie, we have been integrating a new math book into our school days. Today, the kids made bar graphs with intentional mistakes that the other kids had to catch. Marin had tigers and hippos on a graph of animals with horns, Tully had bottles that measured in inches instead of centimeters, and Cobin tricked us all with an electrical company that distorted its scale to make its prices seem far cheaper than its competitors. Slow sailing makes for good school days!

We will spend the next 2-3 days in Suwarrow and leave when the weather looks favorable for our next passage to Niue. Nikitoo spoke to us on VHF tonight and proposed water skiing so we may be doing that tomorrow. They kindly took me when we were anchored in Rangiroa and Cobin got up on his first try in Bora Bora. He skiied circles around the anchorage and was thrilled until he woke up the next day with painful muscle soreness in his legs and back.

Enjoy wherever you are today. We are quite happy out here on the velvety Pacific, waiting for whatever the wind brings next.

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