All Treat, No Trick: Halloween in Tonga

Tonga’s Nomuka Iti was visited once upon a time by two great explorers, James Cook and Abel Tasman. For us, the island was a place for pirates, fairies, and one early-bird Santa Claus, for the date was October 31st: Halloween for five children in the anchorage.

Just how do you “do” Halloween in a remote Pacific anchorage? Step one: enlist any available kids (age limit: up to seventy). Step two: ask anchored neighbors for permission to trick-or-treat. Adult-only crews are usually delighted to be visited by adorable little beggars, at least for short periods of time. Any small treat will do, and you’ll be amazed what cruisers produce from the depths of their cupboards. Step three: resign yourself to the stress of creating your offspring’s dream costume from materials on board (“Mommy, I want to be a shark!”). It’s all so familiar, yet all so surreal.

On the big day, assemble the tricksters. On Nomuka, the award for best costume went to Piper, a mermaid wearing a bikini made from massive Napoleon Wrasse scales. Santa Claus and Pirate Nik manned the dinghy oars, and the kids were off! Parents hovered nearby in a paparazzi dinghy, shooting approximately two hundred photos of each child, and a good time was had by all. See you next year, kids!