It is hard to understand going to bed Wednesday evening and waking up the next morning and discovering it was Friday morning. Thursday just disappeared thanks to the International Date Line which was established in 1921. The IDL is the imaginary line on the earth that separates two consecutive calendar days. Without it a person travelling westward as we are doing would arrive home with one day more than they thought had passed, even though they kept a careful tally of the days. Go figure!
Our next stop was the Kingdom of Tonga. With a king and a palace, this sovereign country continues to be ruled by a king. It is a very religious country with many churches and church schools. Interestingly the religion is Protestant and to see and hear from the locals no other religion is tolerated. Tonga is a beautiful tropical island with clear waters, lush vegetation but extremely flat. They have never had a tsunami and credit their faith for this result. A tsunami would clear off the entire island as there is no protection. Blow holes in the rock line the shore on the north side of the island while a reef and a dredged channel permits cruise ships to carefully thread their way into a very short concrete dock.
Many of the ancient Tonga traditions continue today yet of all the islands we have visited, Tonga appears to be the most civilized. Our next stop will be Auckland in New Zealand.