Open REPORT full-page (opens a new page, back with START)

Save report with pictures as PDF -->PDF



Dear friends,

As promised in REPORT 2013 here a short overview of our year 2014, which was very quiet.

The first six months were very moist but in the second half of the year it rained very rarely. We learned to save water during our years living on the yacht, but the garden is suffering very much. Last season, December 2013 until January 2014 we had a record harvest of avocados.

On 11. January 2014 cyclone IAN passed only 30 nautical miles to the west of us and we got beaten up a bit. After the storm, 171 avocados were on the ground, lots of banana plants and also our olive tree. But we were spared the worst, IAN went directly across the eastern Ha'apai Island Group, lashed the islands with more than 90 knots of wind and left a path of devastation, especially in and around the main town Lifuka.

Begin of March cyclone Kofi brought again a lot of wind and rain for us.

Our tomcat Minks had long ago taken to the bush in fear of Lulu, the neighbours dog, but during our absence last year he fathered four kittens with our neighbours new cat Uliuli (Tongan for black), two kittens were black and white and two were striped. One of the little tigers called Puki (Pooky) moved in with us and keeps us laughing every time we see how and where cats sleep. In the meantime Lulu has learned not to chase cats (she is now outnumbered six to one), so lately Minks came out of the bush to live with us again.

We needed a new washing machine and our neighbours helped to get it from Neiafu with the boat.

Werner and Boris went game fishing successfully. They tagged and released two marlins, and caught a mahi mahi and a large yellowfin tuna. During the year, we also caught other fishes like brightly coloured parrot fish and a nice wahoo.

During March and April we had visitors from Germany and Austria and from May on lots of cruising sailors visited us, and we had some interesting get-togethers and cheerful pot-luck dinners.

There is always work in the garden. We planted a lot of vegetables and Soane helped to cut some high trees around the house. There were nearly no mandarins this year, but a few Tongan apples got ripe. A special hibiscus bush had flowers for the first time, which are white when they open in the morning and pink at the time we enjoy our sundowner on the beach.




On April 15. we observed a lunar eclipse where we could see the so-called "Red Moon", like in December 2011 (see Bericht2012). This time the sky stayed clear and we had perfect view at the moon, the stars and planets.

In May the children of the Methodist Church in Hunga had a special celebration. Even the smallest recited verses from the bible before all retired to the town hall for a meal.

In July we celebrated our birthdays with friends on the island. Also in July, the Kings birthday is commemorated in Neiafu and from all the villages in Vava'u children come to show their dances. In Hunga they were rehearsing too and I made my contribution in sewing three black shirts for the little dancers.



The King and a lot of visitors watched on the show grounds how hundreds of red and white clad children depicted the Tongan flag .





Group after group followed with traditional dances

Here "our" village Hunga showed their sitting dance.



Another village displayed a modern war dance





and the well-liked brass-band marched perfectly aligned across the field blaring out German brass music.



In August we visited the Agricultural Show in Neiafu. The King and his entourage looked at the displays of handicrafts, crops like yams, sweet potatoes, etc., farm animals and fishes, sea snails, sea cucumbers and much more. In every category, the best presentations received prices, and then the goods could be purchased.

End of October we had a hilarious Halloween party with our neighbours from Fofoa, Hunga and Foiata wearing amazing costumes.

Begin of December we could start to harvest our mangos. They are not as big as normally, but so plentiful, that I could preserve 50 glasses of mango and pineapple jam already.

Unfortunately, because of the ongoing draught, there are only a few small avocados on the tree, but we hope, we can eat some of them soon. Thus, the circle of our year comes to a close.

We are fairly well, just a few ailments, that come with "old age" ;-))

Next year middle of March, we will fly to Germany and on the way back in August (hopefully not later this time), we plan to visit South Korea for three weeks.

We wish all of you a





We thank you all for your friendship, your emails, good wishes and all the goodwill we received. We hope to meet you again next year or at least hear from you once in a while.

With our best regards from the South Seas

Elke & Werner

All photographs made by Elke Stumpe (c)


start Back to top of page seitenanfang Save report with pictures as PDF (opens a new page) -->