Wow….interesting stuff…just as I was writing the last blog a local diver Tevita Moala from the next island north of us, announced to the world that he had found the wreck of “Port Au Prince”…we did not know that at the time, as we then headed to the well known spot described by the survivors of that important wreck and started having some fun diving…amazing place and lots to see and experience but nothing found…today we came back into town to find the story written up in the New Zealand Herald….Tevita has certainly found a wreck, and who knows what it is, but I wonder if it is actually “that” one? as if so, it would mean all the history and first hand accounts of this important wreck and the events that took place around it, when it was over run by the locals and half the crew killed. Could all these accounts be wrong?? Tevita’s find it is simply in the wrong spot according to those accounts that seem very specific?. The “Port Au Prince” was ransacked and burned to the waterline after being dragged ashore after it’s anchors were cut. the anchors were found some years ago by anorther local dive company. This was all supposed to have happened on the North west coast of Lifuka, a different Island completely??..so could everyone else including the survivors and the Tongan Chiefs and warriors have all been wrong??? Interesting hey!!…BUT…I hope it is NOT the “Port Au Prince”…because that could mean it is a whole new wreck….maybe even a new untouched find…as roumer has it that the “Port Au Prince” was discovered in the 70’s by a Japanese dive team and plundered to the tune of $50-300,000,000 back then, with no effort at all to recover any of the lost history?? it may have even been blown apart with explosives to get at the gold??
There is no doubt that there are yet to be discovered wrecks in Tonga and that some have already been discovered and plundered…I just hope that what ever happens now with this and future wrecks, that the best possible Archaeological standards are utilised and appropriate surveys and conservation are adhered to. It is exciting that a new wreck has been found and well done to Tevita for making the discovery..I can’t wait to hear the details of how he came across it.
Now that we are moving around Tonga and speaking to the locals, it is all too plain that we are hearing too many “stories” about things “happening” to wrecks here in Tonga…Tevita has a story waiting to be told here and he should be proud of the fact ( even applauded!) that he has released the news to the media and the world. This appears to me to be the first step in making this discovery Transparent and not kept secret for private plunder, which is illegal by the way…
Tomorrow we head out to Tofua, the active Volcano and site of Bligh’s cave and apparently awesome fishing??…Steve Fraser, the Mr Smooth of Photography ( www.stevefraser.co ) flew in today on a World War II DC3 which was really slick!..he is onboard for two weeks, We sailed to Antarctica together last season. After a few days out there, we hope to head back to Namooka and a couple more wrecks! It was raining yesterday and we caught 100 gal of water which was nice and the markets here had everything today!! so all happy here….even the internet is a little faster but do not want to try pic’s??
We will not be back online now for another week…still whales everywhere..food is good..no surf for Kylie, Amit did a night dive so he is happy, Jane is screaming every time we see whales and dolphins so she is happy and I just missed getting ICE stuck on a reef, so I am VERY happy tooo!..we are sailing in company with Grant, a Kiwi, with the Salar 40, so that is the only issue I suppose…hanging out with another bloody Kiwi!…but he is silly enough to call an Aussie!! and he has the best snacks onboard!!..so all good!