Update from the 2009 Regatta Vava’u Cornhole Champs : )

by Margie on September 13, 2009

The passport prizes have been rewarded, the free internet available during the regatta is long gone, and the harbor here in Vava’u is slowly beginning to empty. This morning we said farewell and wished safe seas to our dear friends, Geoff & Julie, on s/v Flashback. I knew it was going to be hard to say adios to them but it was especially hard to hug Julie goodbye. For me, having Julie around was like having one of my greatest friends, Courtney, right here by my side. Their advice, their ability to listen, and this incredible sarcasm that they both possess is like one in the same and I have told Julie so many, many times. I will greatly miss talking, laughing, sharing glasses of wine, and just being girly for a bit with her. They’re both just amazing, amazing people and whether it be New Zealand to ring in the New Year or another year further down the road, I know we will see them again and I am already looking forward to that reunion…
Jules' favorite pic of us : ) Geoff, Drew, and Richard at Monique's Bday bash Jules and Marge
For those of you who have not heard the news yet, by the grace of the sea gods watching over us, our dinghy has been found! A local fisherman found our beloved water craft off the coast of Niue, an island we had sailed away from just a few days before. The dinghy was upside down and we assume it flipped over the reef leaving Beveridge, making the entire journey to Niue’s coast with the outboard underwater. For roughly 15 days it traveled approximately 140 miles and luckily for us, right into the hands of a very honest, local fisherman. (added by Drew…here he is! The hero! His name is Ape (pronounced Ah Pay) and he is from the village of Vaiea on Niue.)
tender2 tender1
Once turned over to the Niue police, our dinghy was impounded and placed in its own jail cell. Literally locked up for misbehavior. The good news reached us via Marc & Jane, s/v Imagine, who heard about the dinghy while they themselves were in Niue. Drew and I have learned in our time here on the water not to ever get your hopes up about anything so until we made contact with the commodore of the Yacht Club in Niue and exchanged serial numbers, we weren’t believing it. Low and behold, turns out it was ours, in good shape, and the local fisherman was even able to get the outboard engine up and running again! A reward was sent via Western Union here in Tonga, obviously to be handed over to the guy who found the dinghy, and a ceremony took place to officially release the dinghy from the Niue Police Department into the care of the Yacht Club. Drew and I have bailed out the dinghy before but we’ve never had to bail it out in this way! Now we sit and wait in hopes that a sailing vessel will come through Niue large enough to throw our dinghy up on board and bring it the 250 miles to us here in Tonga. Jokes were even made that they could throw it off the wharf in Niue and it’d find it’s way back to us here and of course now we can laugh at that. Need be, we’ll return to pick it up but chances are in our favor that someone will be able to bring it with them. Drew and I would like to extend our sincerest thanks and gratitude to the fisherman, the Niue police, the “Imaginary” family, and especially Keith Vial, the commodore of the Yacht Club who spent a lot of time going back and forth with us via email to get this all straightened out. We cannot begin to tell you the relief you have brought us and we are so incredibly appreciative!

So for now Drew and I will sit patiently in Tonga awaiting news that the dinghy is on its way. As I write I sit and watch as Drew slowly picks through cabinets and cubby holes taking pictures of all that will be sold both separately and with the boat. I have to admit his last post about the boat going on the market drew mixed feelings for me. As I read it for the first time, alongside all of you, it brought tears to my eyes. There has never been a single moment in our relationship, even when we weren’t living aboard, that I was unaware of Drew’s love and passion for this particular vessel. I will never be able to comprehend the amount of time and energy that went into making her what she is. I do, however, live in the results of his labor and can physically see the details of the love that went into each inch of Dosia. In even my most frustrated moments aboard, I try so hard to think about the future, when I’m sitting behind a desk or on a couch, and would trade anything for my butt to be on a beach instead, and do all I can to use that as a reminder to live in this moment, relish in it, and take all from it that I possibly can. As the final months of our trip begin to unfold, I am torn on how I feel about the journey coming to an end. I know that Drew and I have an incredible life with great adventures ahead of us and I definitely see another boat, more islands, and more sunsets in our future. Something tells me Drew’s going to make sure of that!

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