1) Paranoia: arriving in Aitutaki, for the first time the entry formalities included a visit from the health officer, who impounded all our fresh fruit and vegetables (luckily there was not much left!…).
In this part of the world, that’s rather normal: the worst we will encounter in Australia, where they will take away also meat, pasta, cheese, flowers and plants, shells, souvenirs made of wood or shells, and another long list of stuff. …and do not even think of hiding these things, they search the boat!!
Even if it seems a bit over the top, there is a reason for this: they are trying to avoid importing pests that they currently do not have. In Aitutaki for example, they try to avoid importing Fruit Flies from Tahiti.
Paranoid, but up to a point: we saw an example in Tahiti itself, where the lush, varied and colorful vegetation of the island’s interior is being replaced by an ugly brasilian plant with red leaves that some idiot has imported and is now spreading very fast: now they had to import a brasilian worm which eats the plant’s leaves, killing them (but what will the worm eat, when he will be finished with the red leaves?).
2) Convergence: convergence ZONE, to be precise.
I’ll explain: in the northern hemisphere, wind around depressions rotates counter-clockwise. In the souther hemisphere, quite the reverse.
And what happens in the middle? A mess! A little south or north of the equator, a convergence zone forms, where the weather is perturbed and chaotic.
Now, guess where is the convergence zone at the moment? Right, exactly above our heads and spreading towards Tonga!
Result: rain, torrential rain, thundery rain, all with wind, no wind, a lot of wind, depending on the mood.
Still several days to Tonga, and it looks like it will all be like this…