An Entire Island To Ourselves

Sailing through the Haʻapai islands feels like a vivid dream.  The borders are closed to the Kingdom of Tonga and we’re the only sailboat out here.  At times it feels like we’re the last remaining humans on earth.  Far away from the western world with islands mostly uninhabited and yet, all the evidence they were here.

A strange and beautiful dream.

Speaking of beautiful dreams, we have the loveliest stowaway join us for this passage.  Dior is taking advantage of her idle time during covid to learn how to kitesurf on a neighboring island.  As if we didn’t already adore her from our time together on Nomuka…she was an absolute joy to have on board.

You can learn more about Dior and her family through their website and get social with them on Instagram.


A short note about a long-winded problem.

Trash.  Seeing how much trash reaches even these remote and uninhabited places can be shocking.  It’s a complicated subject but the reality is, many of these island countries don’t have waste management, can’t store or treat it properly or afford to ship recyclables to another country.  Leaving them with no real solution or alternatives.

We have thought many times about diving into the subject of rubbish.  What we’ve learned, how sailors and islands manage (or sometimes don’t manage) rubbish.  It’s a trashy subject with some harsh realities and much-needed solutions.

Question is, would you be interested in seeing a video about how sailors (and islands) deal with trash?  Let us know in the comments.




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Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (45)

  • David Platt

    Was wondering what that shark song was and looked it up on youtube… now i can’t get it out of my head… Argh

  • Brian Crowe

    Love this: “We have zero shame in admitting we want to squeeze as much out of life as possible.” My wife and I are all about this also. Love the vibe you are putting out in the world. Question (and forgive me if you’ve already answered) what brand electric bikes were you riding? They looked super portable/storable. Happy sailing!

    • Curious Minion

      Hey Brian,
      Nikki links to them and gives some feedback in this post:
      And don’t forget that shopping through the links provided won’t cost you anything extra but it *will* throw a few pennies into the sailing kitty. Who knew spending money could feel so good??
      Curious Minion

  • Bruce Paterson

    Hello Nikki, Jason, WELCOME!

    In response to your request for touring guidance I’ll give you my quick rundown.
    You may ignore everyone else, or not.

    Firstly I live in NZ in a Keystone 5th wheel.
    I’m presently in Wellington but born and schooled and started adult life in Dunedin. Toured and camped all over the country spending most time in Otago, Queenstown. I get chances often to advise other camping tourists where to go. I really don’t know how much notice they take.

    Weather countrywide:
    Our summer/winter range is around 10°C difference.
    Our daytime/nighttime is around 10°C difference.
    Winter days can be gloriously sunny all over.
    Nights can be cool with land frosts followed by summer type days.
    Snow does not settle on roads all day under 1000ft anywhere.

    When I’d go on a trip in Otago, South Island, I’d never check weather conditions save for heavy rain which might/might not cause flooding and landslips – but still went anyway.

    Places options:
    Spend your touring time two thirds South Island, one third North Island in that order. Many I meet wished they’d had allowed more time for the South Island.

    Further specific places you can work out for yourself – unless you want more from me.
    You need to be challenged, excited and make mistakes. You know the drill.

    You’ll know a bit from your visit to Raro.

    You are a pakeha, so am I. White person generally, not derogatory.
    Majority of brown people are Maori and others are Pacifica. Learn to note the differences as quickly as possible, they are quite different.

    Fuel for your car is most likely petrol, NOT gas. Go to a petrol or service station. Gas is in cannisters and bottles generally for camping and barbecues.

    Car rubber tyres go on rims and called wheels, not tyres.

    Schedule is pronounced shed-dual.

    ZZ Top should be said Zed Zed Top? Well-made not.

    Our Petrol stations labeled Z are said ZED.

    Traveling :
    Right hand drive, left side of road. Do some roundabouts then do some more.
    Traffic light aren’t popular.

    There are no intercity trains.
    Auckland and Wellington are the only cities with commuter trains.

    A couple of Wellington commuter train services are excellent tourist excursions.

    Cook Strait ferries are generally very good. Two companies, five ferries. Trip duration 3hrs 20 min. Cabin bookings are not worth it.

    Take self contained camper rules very seriously. Currently high public interest in your poo habits in the wrong places.

    More to come if you want.

    Bruce Paterson
    021 51 00 30
    04 565 0851

    Ex Director of Photography major television productions NZ
    Presently Landscape Photoartist

  • Stanley Heath

    Have you started your trip to New Zealand yet and if so how far have you gone thank you

  • Judy Goodson

    What a beautiful island and video! I needed a happy fix, because I’m down in Florida, helping my sister take care of our brother, who is very weak due to chemotherapy for liver cancer. It makes me so sad, so I always look forward to living vicariously through your videos.

  • Roy E Hardcastle

    glad you are back enjoying your selves. Love you and be careful. Roy H

  • Christian Morrison

    Yes, absolutely we’d love to see a video addressing waste and trash. I say waste because I was on my friend’s sailboat in Canada last year, and he told me that “Black Water” can be disposed of in the Ocean and large lakes and rivers. Blackwater from one’s boat can impair water quality, negatively impact aquatic ecosystems and increase risks to human health. We live in an RV, are conscious of our Blackwater levels, and regularly check in with dump stations. I’m curious what you two do? This isn’t a grumpy question; it is sincere.

  • Mike/Deb

    Absolutely love your YouTube programs. Much better than 99% of regular tv programming. We are like fish that are hooked to them. Probably have seen about 200 of them now. (just wish they were numbered so we could see them in succession). Looking forward to your New Zealand adventures. Just be careful as there has been an uptick in big earthquakes in that area and just to the north. Keep up the excellent and creative postings. Your adventure postings are something that TV executives should be doing with their programming instead of most of the garbage they come up with! By the way, we have also started following the Zitara bunch that we saw on one of your postings…also very informative.

  • Amilyn Baker

    So I saw the episode where you first got your bitty bikes and was wondering how you ended up liking them and how durable they ended up being. Also I forgot what brand they are. Love you guys and your travels.

    • Curious Minion

      The post where the bikes made their debut has some info on the good & bad and has links to the new bikes and to their old ones (that they like better but won’t fit on the boat). You can check it out here: and don’t forget that shopping through the links provided won’t cost you anything extra but it will throw a few pennies into the sailing kitty. So click over & ride off into the sunset!
      Curious Minion

  • robert maltbie

    Boom!!! One of the best episodes ever!. Really put together beautifully…totally drifted away…ready for primetime, etc. Congrats, cheers!

  • Alan Solomon

    Thank you for another great video. Jason, if I may say, you are always in paradise and a lucky man with the just 2 of you.
    I would love to see a video of the way Nomuka, Uoleva, Pangai, Tofua and the other islands there handle the trash problem.
    I am trying to fix the recycling problems we are having here in my southern California County which should reduce the trash problem. Eventually taking it globally.
    BTW, that was an awesome looking veggie burger. Looked real tasty. 👍
    Safe sailing, happy trails,

  • Deborah Kerr

    you guys are a hoot!! love love love your storied videos – a lot of sensory experience shared – sights & sounds- wish i could smell & feel the sea breeze 🏝 I would love a documentary from you guys about the trash situation, hoping it would reach powers that could make a difference

  • Mae De la Rosa

    Yes, I absolutely want to hear about the real challenges as well as the fun stuff to sailing around the world. Showing us the reality of the trash situation on remote islands can bring about more global awareness that everything we do affects the entire planet.

  • Mary Van

    Jason I loved your shark rendition! ❤️

    Looks like you guys are getting in a little bit of fun before you head out to New Zealand.

    I love the shot of the boat going through that narrow channel of water. That was pretty cool! That was some pretty shallow water those two sharks were in.

    I’d be interested in learning more about trash in other parts of the world.

  • Mary Van

    Jason I loved your shark rendition! ❤️

    Looks like you guys are getting in a little bit of fun before you head out to New Zealand.

    I love the shot of the boat going through that narrow channel of water. That was pretty cool! That was some pretty shallow water those two sharks were in.

    I’d be interested in learning more about trash in other parts of the world.

  • Shirley Gautreau

    I watch a TV program every week called Island Diaries and this week was something that might interest you. It is an Island called Great Barrier Reef Island and it is off the east coast of N.Z. It is much like the Island that you just visited in Tonga in that they live off the grid. There are 950 inhabitants on the Island and they are pretty much self sufficient. Some very interesting people were featured. I don’t know about sailing there in the winter but you might want to look into it. This program is very interesting as they go to some islands that are familiar and some remote Islands that a lot of people never heard of like this one. It is a Canadian program so don’t know if you would get it.

    Always enjoy your weekly videos and yes it would be interesting to see what is being done about all the oceanic garbage. It is devastating seeing all the junk in the oceans.

  • Allan

    Yes I would very much like to see a video on sailor and island trash.

  • Jeanette Brennan

    Great video, as always. Always concerned about trash – interested to see other people’s solution. It’s always great to start a new week – seeing what great adventures you guys are on. Keep up the good work. Thx for sharing! Stay safe, healthy and happy. 🤩⛵️🏝💖

  • Chris McAuley

    I would really like to see a video on trash and recycling.
    Living in Vancouver, we take our recycling seriously and we definitely want to continue recycling as we prepare to join the cruising community ⛵️

  • Theresa S

    Yes would love to see trash vid 🤗💜
    Y’all rock!

  • Steve Gibbons

    Thanks for getting my week off to a great start. Your definitely heading into cooler climates SO enjoy those warm rays of sunshine while you can.

  • StevieDV

    I would love to see how different islands deal with trash. I know the oceans are huge, but everywhere my wife and I travel, no matter how remote, we can always find a soda bottle or three. Even as a diver, I have witnessed the oceans becoming more polluted with debris. That is the trillion dollar solution just waiting to be discovered.

  • Michele L

    Yes please give us a trash video. I’m very concerned for all the island peoples of the world. What can be done to help do they have any ideas they could share with us.

  • John J Gibbons III

    What did I miss? what happened to going to New Zealand?

  • Michael

    Yes, please on trash management. It is part of island life after all.

  • Richard Fenters

    OK…..Let’s get trashed. Any light shed on the subject of dealing with the World’s trash problem would be great. It is so sad to see just how bad the trash problem is, especially in such remote areas!! As always, I really enjoyed this video and look forward to the next one!

  • Bettina

    Answer is, YES, definitely interested in seeing a video about how sailors (and islands) deal with trash? Thank you for the great video today and please continue to change our world one video at a time. 🏖⛵

  • Jon

    Thanks for your generosity. Learning so much from your videos. Valuable.

    Why did you change from using MSI computers?

    Thanks. Jon

  • Alisha

    Yes! We would love a video about the trash and any solutions or suggestions!

  • Dale

    Yes, on trash management indeed! I currently watched a somewhat of a solution here in Canada, where the government came up with many $$, to help with the picking up of trash along the coast, although they found much more than they originally thought! To see the need of a crane to offload ton’s of garbage is truly eye opening, and if it’s here, it’s everywhere, then the thought arrives at, how long will these cleaned up area’s last, to where they will be loaded again with the same? There are many nations that take this trash issue seriously, then so many that don’t, thus those that don’t won’t allow a proper solution, as it will just continue. Much is the same with the taking of shellfish, and other fish in general, as it ends up coming down to greed, in making $$ in any way one can, and often if looked into, it’s a rich entitiy backing those taking this resource, all for the want of profit! It’s truly a shame it’s come to this, and where a solution lies I don’t know! Thanks for the video!!

  • Bob Wolford

    Once again, thank you for sharing your adventures with us. As a landlocked Vermonter, though I am on a peninsula that comes down from Quebec nestled by Lake Champlain, with no knowledge of Oceania, I had no idea how many islands and just how beautiful those islands are in Tonga. There certainly is a part of me that would like to live on Nomuka…how difficult is it to get a visa to stay there for any length of time?

  • MarkByron

    Great video. Anyone having a less than perfect day should watch!

  • Heather Kelm

    Love your videos! I’m living vicariously through you guys! Thank you for sharing!

  • Pat

    Great to see you two again and glad to see another adventure. Have to start your trip to New Zealand yet and hope it is going well.

  • Peter Campos

    I love your postings because of the diversity of information that you present. So, please, add as much information about the islands where you land as possible (especially including trash!).

  • Marjorie Nehlsen

    As always you make my Sunday. You don’t let rain stop you from having adventures. Stay safe and dry too.

  • Josh

    A “trash” episode would be great. I’ve always been curious both what islands and sailors do for this kind of infrastructure.

  • Tina Elliott

    Thank you so much for sharing your amazing life! I absolutely love watching. Typically watch a video every night while I’m falling asleep (nerd alert…. I will watch today’s for 6 more days until you post next week) :). Sooooo relaxing! I’ve never sailed but always wanted to. I do support 4 ocean and would like to see/hear more about the garbage issue. I’m so happy for you kids and your experiences. Always be thankful.

  • John

    Very interested in learning about trash management and disposal. Thanks for asking.

  • Dawn Fryer

    Thanks I enjoyed watching it.

  • Patricia Bracamonte

    Hi ! I follow your adventures in the Polynesian islands, that are lovely ! I commom friend recommended to me to write to you, and I did it by messenger some months ago asking to you to keep an eye on the Tongan islands about my little dog Emma, who was lost there in early September. Emma was lost from Tapana island where she was staying with friends of us. She is mix beagle and Pointer, white with brown spots, with a brown “patch” in the left eye (like a pirate). She sailed with my partner and I from Valdivia, Chile, to Tonga in Otra Vida sailboat, a monohull that is currently out of the water in the marine of Vavau, waiting for opening the borders to us to be able to be back in Vavau. Look forward to know if you saw her somewhere. Good luck and keep posting the beautiful stories about your sailing free life ❤️

  • John S.

    Question is, would you be interested in seeing a video about how sailors (and islands) deal with trash?

    Answer is, if you decide to make such a video it will be interesting, informative, upsetting and inspiring.

  • Darren & Anya

    Hi Nikki,
    Just a random question. What happened to the two lovely cats you once had on board? Best wishes to you both. Darren and Anya (UK)


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