Monday, August 31, 2015

Swimming with whales in Tonga...

Hello everyone,

All I can say is this is a topper on the list,,, definitely one for the memory album!  We got to swim not one, not two, but three times with mother and baby whale today... it was so beautiful, magical, mesmerizing, and utterly amazing.... thats all for this blog... I just can't believe the Tzortzis luck we had.  We had secured a whale watching boat at 4:45 for the next day and then to top it off they said it was their best day this whole season.... Chris got this shot on the last swim.  They were just hanging out watching mother and baby from behind and she suddenly turned and started swimming towards the group.  She then saw the swimmers and took off and breached and then the baby proceeded to play and breech several times over and over... just amazing!

I really tribute this to the amazing luck that Mr. Chris Tzortzis seems to get at all times.

Hugs and love to all.


Saturday, August 29, 2015


Hello Everyone,

Here are some of the pictures of the last island time with family on Mounu Island before Mykaela and I left to bring her down to Tongatapu.....

Love and will miss you baby!

Kids boats getting together to play for a short time on the beach before Mykaela has to go...
Thank you Shine, Skyus, Por Dos and Lorien always fun to hang with you guys!

Boat moms......shine, athos, family circus, por dos

Mykaela and I are here in Tongatapu waiting for our flights on Monday.  We have rented a car and drove around, across, back and forth and diagonal around the island the last two days.  It is very small with only  a few main roads... most of which are paved/dirt roads.  Even though there aren't many signs we managed to find many of the must see sights.  Some were by accident like the fishing pigs... when we drove by all these pigs in the wading through the water with their snouts burried deep in the low tide we were wondering what on earth they were doing and then an hour later had read one of the sights to see were the fishing pigs and simultaneously Mykaela and I said... Oooohhh that's what that was... we quickly drove past the famous archeological site that is their version of stonehedge.. don't blink, then after multiple stops along the way and asking about 5 different farmers walking down the road with their machetes we found the famous Pacific Blow Holes... which are quite numerous along the coast it is just really hard to find a road that actually takes you to the coastline.  We saw Captain James Cooks Landing site,  the royal palace, the royal cemetery, the royal house, and then from there it was mostly rich farm land of coconut trees, papaya trees, cows, and sweet potato plants.  Field after field and the most amazing thing is that I only saw one tractor my entire 4 hours of driving.  All of the farm work, acre after acre is done by hand.  The turning of the rich brown soil is done with many shovels.  The farms are very simple with corrugated tin housing, only curtains for doors, and dirt floors... In all the driving we did we never saw one restaurant that wasn't part of a bungalow, only 2 grocery stores that were almost the size of a 7 eleven and all the other stores were identical and looked like firework stands and all sold the exact same items.  Mostly cheap products from asia and simple necessities.

some of the blow holes
little grocery store

cows, coconut trees and sweet potatoes... Oh my!

the royal palace... not the one they live in.  The royal residence you can see from the road but to far for a picture.

The one main thing throughout the islands as we were driving around were the incredible smiles, waving arms and shouts of hello from the street as we passed by.  We were always welcomed and often people would stop to ask if we needed help or direction or if there was anything they could do for us.  Such a generous society.

I just thought I would send up so pictures of the flat lands of Tonga... We had a great time but I am really excited to get back to my boat... I really miss the rest of the family and I know that even though I will miss Mykaela more than she will ever know.. I am so excited for her journey and know that she is ready and excited to get back home to her friends.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Vava'u Tonga Pictures..

Hello Everyone,

I am just speechless when it comes to this area... I can't express enough how much I love it here.  We have been having so much fun enjoying the beauty of these islands that we are now overwhelmed with where to start for our blog...

Run down... is staying in town.. dinners out, dancing, singing, shopping, gas, internet.. then off to outer anchorages, pigs on the beach, BBQ's dinners on the beach, playing rugby with local kids, going to local kids church, swimming in caves, both mariners and swallows, kite flying, kayaking, swimming, Amaia catching moon jellyfish with her new friend Cosmo from Athos, tubing, wake boarding, starfish hunting, aqua blue water, sunsets, spanish tapa dinner with singing after and a goat that roams the restaurant and then lays down next to the band, sunset crows nest ride up front mast of Athos, floating art gallery, more BBQ dinners on beach, some unsuccessful kite boarding, ugh... so many moments to share... LOVING IT HERE!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO

I am going to upload some pictures now that I have a decent wifi connection and see what I can get down and then break it down... for now I am sitting in the friends cafe in downtown Tonga.  I am spending precious time with Mykaela before she goes off to start her new life... college, jobs...etc... I can't convince her to stay no matter how hard I try but I am very appreciative of the times that we got with her over these last 10 months... I know she needs to move on but it is really hard to see her go.  We will miss her beautiful smile, of course all her help... and also the unlimited dancing and smiling that always cheers everyone up on the boat... Boo Boo... Love you babes... now go and tackle the world with your beauty inside and out!  You will go far with all the confidence and warmth that you have to offer...

Tristan and Mykaela swimming with thousands of fish inside Swallow's cave

Mykaela swimming back out of Mariners Cave

Getting ready to go into Mariners Cave

Pigs on the beach at our first anchorage

In the crows nest of Athos with my honey for a pre-dinner drink... Man I felt spoiled!

Purple starfish all over our anchorage 

Goat in the Spanish Tapa's Restaurant next to the band...

George.. one of the local boys that played rugby with us the night of the Beach BBQ... His house is in the background.. there are 5 children in the family and the dad works in New Zealand.  They all had the biggest smiles on when we saw them in church the next day.

I will be flying back up to Vava'u on Monday the 31st... then we will explore more of the islands and crossing our fingers find a way to swim with the whales.  This is their busiest time of year so all the charters are booked... but with Chris' determination we will try everything to find away.. including a possible man overboard drill... Hee Hee.   Then off to the Tongan Island Chain of the Hapaii (not sure of spelling) Islands about 5o miles south and then jumping over to Fiji.  Hoping to be in Fiji around Mid September.  I can't believe that we are almost at our year anniversary.. How time flies when you are having fun.

Hugs and love to everyone at home.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Vava'u Tonga......

Hello Everyone,

We are still really enjoying Vava'u.  We have gotten a lot of our chores done and are now ready to go and explore.  We will be tootling around these beautiful little islands for the next week and then coming back to town to see Mykaela off to Tonga.  We will be really sad to see her go but at least I get to see her off in Tonga and spend a few special days by myself with my older precious daughter.

We have been wandering around and it is really amazing through town.  There are a number of dogs along with stray pigs that run all over town.  There was even a pig running into the church the other day as we were walking by.  Then we were on our way to the local chinese food place by the wharf and what did we come across was a local rotating a pig on a pit... There was a birthday party that he was cooking it for that evening... some of the most bizarre sites are the best.

We also have a number of bats hanging in the trees outside our boat.  We are tied to a mooring ball about 20 feet from shore and these bats that are the size of hawks are constantly flying back and forth in the trees.  They make the loudest screeching noises all day and night.  I thought they only flew in the evening but not these ones.  It is really fun to watch them land... they fly onto a branch like a bird and then flip upside down.

We are enjoying the food and the people.  This town reminds me of La Cruz in Mexico with the amazing cruising community that is here.  There are a number of boats that are here that were with us in Mexico... It is really nice to reconnect and know everyone as we walk around town.

Hope everyone is healthy and happy.

Hugs and love to all.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pictures of Suwarrow.....

Here are a few pictures of Suwarrow....

Sharks off our boat....

Wait ... what sharks?

Tristan BDay Present from our friends on Shine

Say Hello to my Little Friends!

15 kids on Suwarrow .... hanging out for a week in the middle of the Pacific Ocean... Who says there aren't many kids cruising.

Suwarrow Ranger Harry

5 foot - 38 pound Wahoo caught right outside of Suwarrow channel

Look Syd you are always on our minds

Kaela found a patrick starfish...

Family with Ranger Valentine.. so sweet!

Cruisers book exchange on Suwarrow

sharks right on shore...

Lazy day making sailboats..

Anyway... here are a few and I will try to get some more uploaded another day...

Miss you guys and hope everyone is well.