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Off-Grid Island Homestead Feeds 16 people A Day

Ha’apai is a sailor’s paradise for as long as the trade winds hold.  And unfortunately, there is a northerly blow headed our way.  Which means we’re going to need to move along, even if we don’t want to.

And we don’t!  We’ve only scratched the surface of a few islands and considering there are 62 here, that isn’t saying much.  But, we have yet to win an argument with mother nature and we’ve learned better than to even try.

Luckily, we’ve made a couple of friends who are keen to show us around before we set off into the horizon.  So, not only do we have a lovely day of exploring remote islands and reefs, but we also get a full tour of their off-grid, self-built island homestead!

Glen and Karen started a little eco-resort on Uoleva island six years ago called Fanifo Lofa (it means kitesurf in Tongan).  I bet you can’t guess what sport Glen is into?

In non-covid times, when borders are open, kite surfers from all over the world flock to their eco-resort to kite, eat, sleep and repeat.  But, like the rest of Tonga and most of the South Pacific, they haven’t had a guest since 2019.

We met them as we dropped off Dior (from Nomuka Island) for her first kiteboarding lesson.  We were the first new faces, and of course, the first sailboat they’ve seen since 2019.  Can you imagine?!?

They were so excited to see us sail into the anchorage it didn’t take long to get a dinner invitation.  And while I didn’t film our dinner together, I should have.  Karen is a whiz in the kitchen!  It was a heavenly green leafy-filled meal!  And considering finding fresh greens in Tonga has been a real challenge for us, her meals were to die for.  She even shared a few of their “good as gold” tomatoes, which had our grins stretching ear-to-ear (it’d been over 4 months since we’d had a fresh tomato).

Sometimes, I think unexpected weather is mother nature’s way of ensuring we don’t get our fill of a place.  She allows us one delectable bite and then pushes us along.  Just a taste to ensure we’ll be itching to come back.  Maybe next time we’ll have enough time to book some kiteboarding lessons.

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 (23)

  • Maria dye

    Hello Nikki, I hear you have a lot allergies, I recommend to you, this company. 100% ! Global healing.com for allergies:quercetin block histamines. Paratrex for harmful organism cleanse formula. Blessings I hope can help you.!

    reply
  • Roy E Hardcastle

    happy birthday you are catching up with me. RoyH

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  • Lisa

    Thank you soooooo much for taking me to the middle of the big blue middle of nowhere!!
    I will likely never get there in 3D, your photography/video is perfect! 🙂
    You guys ROCK!

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  • Hank Heyns

    YOu guys are living the dream……Jason, you married a mermaid!

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  • John J Gibbons III

    Yay! It works. Second time around. What an exciting adventure in an outdoor garden. Pick and drink coconuts at the same time. YUM!! And so many garden spices to choose from and enuf to fee 14 people on a daily basis, WOW!! Great video. Safe travels to NZ XO

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  • About Creativity

    Very good.

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  • Alan Solomon

    Very cool video – as usual. My favorite part was the greeting party. I am a Dog (animal) Lover. 🐶 As well as a water lover. I prefer flowing water but Ocean water will do too. If you put Dogs and/or Horses and Water together, I am diggin it. 😎
    Incredible garden. It is a big garden but amazing production. Incredibly self sufficient and off-grid. Loving that too. 😎
    Great reef action. Lots of fish traffic. 🐟🐠 You guys got some great footage down there. I did not see too much color in the coral but obviously there was some healthy coral there with all those fishy scenes.
    In closing, regarding an earlier comment from Michael. I believe the long fish with the skirt Michael described is a Sea Cucumber? 🥒
    Always looking forward to next week. Thank you. Best, Safe and Well.

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  • Deborah Kerr

    Love the tropical scenery and the self-sustaining life style of that island!! 🏝 I love that you’re always barefoot!!! ⛵️
    I could smell that basil in the greenhouse! 🍀 Love your stories – Keep smiling!! 😎

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  • Chip Atkinson

    Thanks for the video! You two are a great inspiration to see the world and pursue your dreams.

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  • Lee

    What is next? A submarine? A private plane? Another RV?

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  • Michael L Elske

    That one very insightful about how self inefficient they are and nice to see that and how all that garden can produce, can feed that many.

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  • Roger Cox

    Many good thoughts flood my mind. So much that is necessary for the future I see coming soon. Will it be possible? Is there a way? These people have shown it is possible. There is a way. Does it need to be in Tonga? Physics says not. But it also says not to far from the equator and the year round warmth. What elevation typically 1000 ft. above sea level plus gives comfortable year round temperatures. And the bonus is more rain as well so things grow better. The comment in the garden about the heat is spot on. Many plants need less heat than sea level. Mid-day many plant stop growing in Tonga. Too hot for plants and people both. Is it happenstance that the ideal temperature for plants is 60 to 80 degrees. Very similar to humans? I think not.

    Your videos are helpful to my understanding of this world. Much is familiar to me. I spent a year in Vietnam with a McNamara fellowship in far eastern studies. AKA The Vietnam War. Then as now, I have never wasted a bad thing.

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  • Thomas Yorgen

    Nikki, I am sure you weren’t low hanging fruit, and Jason had to work for you. 😉 Another fun and entertaining video. All the Best.

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  • MarkByron

    Awesome video. I imagine it was bittersweet to be leaving. Off to New Zealand, right?

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    • Dinah Rogers

      This was a “catch up” video. Last week they sent a short real-time video so we would all know they made it safely to NZ, although they weren’t able to anchor at the preferred location. They must quarantine for 14 days in a hotel there, which would be 5 or 6 more days I think, as is still reequired in NZ. They had numerous things get damaged or otherwise needing repair on the boat as result of the difficult passage and will have to take care of all that before moving on to wherever is next. You can watch the last YouTube to catch up, but that’s it in a nutshell, I think. 🙂

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  • Steve Gibbons

    Ahhh, I’ve got my Monday morning Island indulgence sorted. Thanks and looking forward to the passgae.

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  • Jeanette Brennan

    Wonderful video – loved seeing all the fruits and veggies being grown. Off the grid is right – what a wonderful way to be; hand-in-hand with Mother Nature. You’re both definitely having to go with the flow. Mother Nature safely leading the way to your next adventure. You’re probably out of Quarantine by now – hooray! 💫🌛💖🌈⛵️🙏

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  • Michael

    As always, thank you for the wonderful video once again. What great diving and interesting fish. What was that long one? I’m not sure I’ve seen anything quite like it before. It looked like it had a skirt around its waist.

    Love the resort. Never can get enough of such nice people and places.

    Oh, and good to see you made it to NZ safely. (Do the days at sea still count toward your hotel quarantine time?)

    Thanks again.

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    • Dinah Rogers

      NZ did not let them count the days at sea!

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      • Curious Minion

        Dinah Rogers NZ did. They are out of quarantine already.
        Curious Minion

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    • Curious Minion

      Hey Michael,
      They had to do a shortened 1-week quarantine & are already out. Let the NZ adventures begin!
      Curious Minion

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  • Linda

    Don’t you fear pirates or worse?

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  • Kenneth M. Merry

    Cannot get the father’s day video to load, been flowing your travels since you were RVing. Love Sunday morning when you update.

    reply

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