Thanks to our late departure from Nufa Aloka and a 60 mile run, we did not arrive in Nomuka until late in the day. The anchorage is between Nomuka and Nomuka Iki which is uninhabited. With the light fading and numerous reefs and bombies (coral heads) about, the decision was to keep the dink aboard and grill up the nice little blackfin tuna we caught on the way up.
The evening air was delightful and we simply opened the boat up and enjoyed the wonderful breeze – no AC required. A brief shower after midnight and the wind died and with the light airs, we went thru a mosquito attack. The mosquitos lost – Deb was well prepared with bug spray and it was showdown at the Nomuka coral. Subtle reminder to put the screens in place before going to bed.
Next morning, it was time to throw in the dink and visit the island. We made friends quickly and Nomuka only has around 200 permanent residents, a Methodist church, a Catholic church and no stores or commercial operations of any kind. More pigs and chickens then people. The town is supplied with generator power 5 hours a day and the island trader comes thru about once a week but life here is supplied by fresh water springs, the sea, the pigs and chickens and what the bush and their gardens can provide.
As part of its history, famous seamen stopped hear to replenish their water supply from the fresh water springs along with fresh fruit supplies – the likes of Tasman, Cook and the infamous Captain Bligh of mutiny on the bounty fame. The mutiny actually occurred close by here on a volcanic island.
Most of the morning we walked the island talking to folks and learning about their lives. The primary means of transportation and beast of burden is the horse. We met one fellow who was off to the bush on his horse with a chain saw over his shoulder. He intended to harvest a tree for an outrigger for his pangy. Another fellow was coming back from the forest with a basket full of fruit. A third was showing Debby a tree that they harvest and sell overseas as it produces a wonderful perfume.
Along the way, we met Joe Finau, a Tongan who has lived in Australia and now wants to move back to Nomuka. He is building a cafe as a commercial enterprise for the cruisers that come this way. He said there was once as many as 16 boats anchored here. He is headed back to Australia to earn some more money to complete his dream. The name of his cafe will be Mini Luisa named after his mom and scheduled opening is in July of 2012 when the Prince of Tonga is supposed to come by for his birthday. If you happen to be out this way, stop by.
In the afternoon, we took the dink to Nomuka Iki, a small uninhabited island off Nomuka. The afternoon was spent swimming, walking the beach and beach combing. On the way back to the boat, we stopped by Joe’s again as he said he might go hunting crays tonight. It turned out that they intend to go, so we put our order in for 4 big crays to be delivered to the boat tomorrow morning between 6 and 7 AM.
Dinner tonight will be more wahoo.
Just a great day.