wynns swimming with whales in tonga

A Whale of A Tale – Featuring Spanish Dancers & Gypsies

The Kingdom of Tonga.  Sounds magnificent doesn’t it, like something straight out of a fantasy novel.  Considering we navigated our way through a maze of islands, swam with giants, found Spanish Dancers in the sea and dined with gypsies…I suppose it has lived up to the name.

But, no fantasy here.  This whale of a tale is all very real and we have the footage to prove it.  We also have a stack of bureaucratic paperwork and an unavoidable boat maintenance list to remind us of just how legitimate this adventure is.

So, grab your beverage of choice (might I suggest something with bubbles) and join us for an unexpected journey through the Kingdom of Tonga.

Whales and a musical performance…I feel like we should stop right now.  Drop the mic and walk offstage.  Because how could we possibly top all that in one week?!?

wynns swimming with whales in tonga

wynns swimming with whales in tonga

wynns swimming with whales in tonga

wynns swimming with whales in tonga

swimming with whales in tonga

People Make The World Go Round

Anthony Bourdain said, “Drink heavily with locals whenever possible.”  We try to follow this sage advice and it works out particularly well when we meet other people who follow this mantra.  Enter Kjell and Adriana.

kjell and adriana in tonga chambonging with the wynns aboard curiosity

kjell and adriana in tonga chambonging with the wynns aboard curiosity

Meeting Kjell and Adriana proved to unleash one gift upon another.  They welcomed us into Tonga like age-old friends and made us feel like family within days.  For hospitality and friendship alone, we are forever grateful.  But, on top of all that, they were the ones who called us about the last min whale opportunity and gathered their eclectic friends for dinner at La Pallea.

new friends gathered at la pallea resturant on tapana island in tonga

Who knew Tonga was the melting pot of Polynesia?  So many people from all over the world!  We had French, Norwegian, Kiwi, Ecuadorian, Spanish, Tongan, and American all represented under one thatched roof.

My grandmother would say something along the lines of, “people are like stew, it’s the variety that makes it fun to chew.”  And other famous people have said, “variety is the spice of life”.

It’s all true.  The more people from around the world we meet, the more we fall in love with the places and the people.  I like to think that with each of the kind souls we meet, they pass their hospitality to us and we share it with you.  So that all these encounters reach a little further and soften our hearts to our neighbors.  No matter how far away they might be.


“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” -Mark Twain


🙏 Made Possible by YOU!

These stories are possible because of you.  Each time you read, watch, comment, share, shop our gear store or put tips in our production jar you make this all possible.  If you like what you see, click here to learn how you can show your support.  Thank you for being a part of the journey!

And a big thanks To Scuba Diver Life for taking us out to swim with the whales.  Magical times on even the stormiest of days!

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  • Nautical Miles Sailed: 28
  • Date: August 2019

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 (20)

  • April WINSHIP

    The BEST video of your journey so far. Thank you both for bringing alive the good, bad and ugly of the cruising life. We cruised for 10 years and raised our 2 daughters to high school age onboard our small catamaran named Chewbacca, an Australian 33-foot Crowther Designed cat, so we thoroughly appreciate you covering the night watches, the galley challenges and feasts and the breathtaking scenery that await if one is brave enough to step our of the box and explore a road less traveled.
    Thank you for highlighting the fun and relaxing times as well as the hard work it takes to maintain a sailing vessel. We’ll be looking forward to seeing your “to do” list for putting Curiosity to bed and all that it takes to get her ready to sail again.
    We always enjoy your video but this last one highlights the progress you’ve made in your story telling. Keep safe and thank you for inspiring others to perhaps have an adventure of their own. Life is way to short to not live a life extraordinary!
    Bruce and April Winship

  • Jill Gibbons

    Awesome video! My husband and I look forward to your uploads each week. We are in the process of getting our house ready to sell so we can join the live aboard lifestyle and watching you guys just gets more and more excited about this next adventure!

    • We’re sending positive vibes your way for a swift transition from sticks-n-bricks to sails. See ya on the water!

  • Steve Nicholls

    Ahhh, but I saw Cleo at the start of this vid! YAY, Cleo! Big ups, girl!

  • Steve Nicholls

    I’m still obsessed about Cleo’s well-being. Read an earlier post that she’d crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Got all sad, me. But found no confirmation from the team! Will someone tell me how Cleo is getting on, the old matriarch? Love cats, me!


    I am never disappointed with your video. It’s almost like I’m living the life with you. Thanks for letting many people live this life experience most of us could never do otherwise.

  • YDion

    Lovely images of our planet, as usual. And every weeks, through your eyes, images and stories, I’m reminded that “Strangers are friends that haven’t met yet”.
    Thanks folks.

  • Peter

    Hi Guys,

    Great video! I have encountered whales myself. It was an incredible experience. I visited the Whaling Museum in New Bedford Massachusetts. It was not a great time for me. When looking at the tools used to hunt the whales and then seeing the film footage my eyes welled up. But we need these museums to remind us how humans can be so destructive.


  • Jeanette Brennan

    Great video as always! Love the junior Humpbacks! Enjoy every minute of your land-lubber days! I wonder where your next adventures will take you! Thx for taking us all with you – we’re ready when you are! 😂. Be safe and keep traveling! 😻💗

  • Alan Solomon

    Great dives. Great party. Looked like an all-nighter?

    You guys and da kitties deserve time at home in the U.S. already. You have so much to recall, reminisce and relax.

    I am contacting you from a little corner of the world called Coachella, CA. I am lucky to have you both in my life. I look forward to Sundays.
    Enjoy yourself. Have a great time.

  • Michael Magill

    Another Amazing video, and to be up close to those gentle giants, would be worth so much, and i was so glad to hear that these gentle giants were off the endanger list , and their population was growing. Seems you two have been having such a good time in the Kingdom of Conga, you didn’t want to leave, but u did. So glad you got to go home and recharge, all your energy, and visit family that you have no seem in a long time. Your weekly reports are so beautiful and we are so glad we get to tag along with you . thank you for all the memories that I will have for years to come….

  • dyanne allegrini

    Thanks for another great video! I especially liked the grog and grist portion. It was great to see Jordan and Nate again (formally of SV Delos) I didn’t realize they have a channel..Will start following them as well.

  • Ian andrew

    The kingdom of Tonga was one of the most favorite places in the world we have visited. In particular a smaller off island called Fafa island, surrounded by a coral reef, able to walk the island in 15 minutes and the only ground lights were solar with the sky painted by the Milky Way.
    Having a thatched hut 100 from the high water mark and only 20 people on the island. Going to a local church and hearing heartfelt Polynesian music.
    An absolute treasure to get away from the hectic world.

  • Marjorie Nehlsen

    Very enjoyable. Looks like LOTS of fun. You both sound great although I have to mention that I am tone deaf. 🙋

  • Beth

    So fun! My husband asked what I had planned for today, I said I needed to check my email to see. He looked a t me like “what?” I checked and then told him I’m going to Tonga, meeting new people and going swimming with whales. Then he remembered that on Sundays there is a new “Gone the Wynns” video. Thank you so much for sharing your lives with us. I live and Wyoming and love it! But sometimes it on nice to see that there is not snow across the whole world. 🙂

  • Ed Grant

    OMG! What a true paradise Tonga is. Loved how you were able to swim so close to the humpbacks and dolphins. The water look very deep and my fear would be Not being able to see the bottom. Great dinner and entertainment on that special island too. I am a watcher of DRENCHED as well as you kids and really enjoy their adventures too. It looked like the cats were very friendly toward the guests aboard Curiosity. Is that normal for them? It would appear that the trip home was going to be monumental task but you kids are pro’s at travel. So looking forward to your return to the boat on the hard and getting her ready for more adventures! Happy New Year ya’ll!

  • Roger B

    Wow, what a fun time with new found friends. Now you both are talented bongo drummers. We love the Humpback Whales as we always look forward to seeing them in your videos.

  • Joel M Mathis

    I’m watching too many sailing videos. I identified Sylfia before you introduced her crew members.

  • Jim Ege

    Not bad Bongos for guy who wears a JD hat. An island paradise for sure.
    I have question which you probably will not answer. How much do you get from Patrons in a year? Is it comparable to when you were traveling in the RV. I know that it is not inexpensive
    to travel the high seas.
    Thank you for sharing as you do.

  • Greg

    This weeks video is not showing up on my YouTube 😢


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