Well it has been an interesting season so far and the surprises keep coming. Our actual activates have not been what we expected when we set out, but that is the beauty and challenge of Tonga. We have spent our entire time here in Nuku Alofa more or less waiting. Back in June last year, some of our important paperwork was approved by the Government and since then, we have been patiently working together to complete that process. Until we are successful, there are certain things we cannot do. We are hoping that all these efforts may come to a conclusion in the next few weeks. If so we will finally be able to continue with our overall plan to help all Tongans and start on the most important phase of our efforts.
IKI has arrived and we took delivery of the container last week. She was stacked in on her side and there were a few little challenges dragging everything out. We started with a truck and a rope but after about three hours, another huge forklift, a travel lift and 10 workers she finally saw daylight and was turned over on the trailer. There were a couple of dings and scratches, all superficial, but using the container instead of shipping ‘Roll on Roll Off” with the trailer saved us $10,000! In freight charges. That was handy as duty here is $15% and sales tax another 15%.
IKI is in the workshop of TT Engineering as we assemble all the pieces and service everything ready for commissioning, maybe end of this week. Plan is for initial sea trials next weekend before we do too much work her. Once we see how she goes, we then remove her form the water to do all major servicing and fit specialised equipment. I actually purchased her back in December last year and since then, she has been in storage, or in the container, so we want to get that engine running!! The boat is solid!
Our Mag is still in Canada so the race is now on the get it back here to start trails with IKI. It is pretty obvious that we will not be achieving much this season, on or in the water, but can hope for a BIG year next year if the stars all align. For now , if you have to sit waiting – The Kingdom of Tonga is a nice place to be. WE are still busy! The people are friendly, the weather is now amazing , the whales are still here, the diving is fun and the fishing is OK. Yesterday Brownie finally hooked his first Mahi Mahi for the season, so has signed on again for next year as Captain of “IKI”…
The plan is to head to Nomuka to see our friends and start training with all the new gear.
Pictures of “Rebuilding IKI”:
Clip of removing “IKI” in the wharf of Tonga after arriving in a container from Florida: