10 Sanuli Falaite
Stocking up for cyclone Ian and fielding calls and answering messages …but happy to report the sun was shining and a there was light breeze so doesn’t feel very ominous. Kotoni had a massage with Chinese Mike as we awaiting our fate.
11 Sanuli Tokanacki
Down to the Saturday fair for a quick sweep and buy some fish before hunkering down for the impending cyclone. Watched dvds, tried to get online (with some success) and read. It rained in the afternoon and the wind did pick up as darkness fell but we have had worse weather so again it didn’t feel especially cyclonic despite the wind speeds reported in the news. We went to bed feeling pretty calm as have both been through cyclones before – Kotoni in Bermuda and me on my farm days living inland from the Gold Coast.Our hearts go out to what is happening up further Northern beautifully picturesque around the islands of the Ha’apai group where we had been for a weeks holiday whale swimming in September with Kingscliff friends Lesley and Stewart. I do hope the places we visited fared OK as the category five storm passed over their heads.
Our hearts go out to what is happening up further north in and around the beautifully picturesque islands of the Ha’apai group where we had been for a weeks holiday whale swimming in September with Kingscliff friends Lesley and Stewart. I do hope the places we visited fared OK as the category five storm passed over their heads.
12 Sanuli Sapate
Woke up to sunshine and the horrible news of the devastation on islands around Ha’apai… only a one hour flight from Nuku’alofa. The cyclone has now headed south-east and we have been spared the worst of destructive winds and sea surges phew.
Two lovely young gap year volunteers came over to our place for a post Ian debrief dinner. We had met Geneva (American) and Sarah (German) on Fafa a few months ago. They have spent the last five months working at the Ocean if Light Ba’Hai International school. Mum’s Christmas cake (one of three she brought over in her 64kgs of luggage goodies for everyone) is slowly diminishing yummy slice by yummy slice.
On a sombre note… Please spare a thought for our ‘neighbours’ in Ha’apai… and that they are safe. Everyone here has a relative or connection with someone in Ha’apai… and even further afield… ie Our Sydney friend Princess Vicki went diving at Matafanua on Ha’apai when she visited us in November. While there she befriended Ben, a ‘resident’ South African dive aficionado who is currently staying with her in Australia. They have been very anxious about his dive resort owners and their family as we suspect their home/dive facility/accommodation/fale complex has been flattened. Matafanua is right on the edge of the waterfront on the small island of Foa and the cyclone coincided with a high tide which is very worrying as the whole island group is so very flat. We stayed around the corner at Sandy Beach. These fales seemed to be made of stronger materials so we hope they fared OK… but by the pictures and the wind velocity I am not sure how strong anything would have been to cope with 250km+ winds. We have not heard much news as only two satellite phones are working there and of course being used for the recovery effort. It all feels so more real when you have a clear picture of somewhere because you have been there yourself and know the lay of the land. Lesley, Stewart and I cycled into the little town over the airstrip one day passing through the villages pictured in the Matangitonga stories. I hope this is the end of our ‘cyclone’ experience. Once again thank you everyone for your concerning messages and calls.