TONGA - 8th Waypoint

 

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Tonga is officially the Kingdom of Tonga, a Polynesian country and archipelago comprising 169 islands, of which 36 are inhabited. The total surface area is about 750 square kilometres (290 sq mi) scattered over 700,000 square kilometres (270,000 sq mi) of the southern Pacific Ocean. The sovereign state has a population of 100,651 people, of whom 70% reside on the main island of Tongatapu.

Tonga stretches across approximately 800 kilometres (500 mi) in a north-south line. It is surrounded by Fiji and Wallis and Futuna (France) to the northwest, Samoa to the northeast, Niue to the east, Kermadec (part of New Zealand) to the southwest, and New Caledonia (France) and Vanuatu to the farther west.

Tonga became known in the West as the "Friendly Islands" because of the congenial reception accorded to Captain James Cook on his first visit in 1773. He arrived at the time of the ʻinasi festival, the yearly donation of the First Fruits to the Tuʻi Tonga (the islands' paramount chief) and so received an invitation to the festivities. According to the writer William Mariner, the chiefs wanted to kill Cook during the gathering but could not agree on a plan.

From 1900 to 1970, Tonga had British protected state status, with the United Kingdom looking after its foreign affairs under a Treaty of Friendship. The country never relinquished its sovereignty to any foreign power. In 2010, Tonga took a decisive path towards becoming a constitutional monarchy rather than a traditional absolute kingdom. 
ʻAhoʻeitu Tupou VI is the King of Tonga.

 

 

 

Tongans have universal access to a national health care system. The Constitution of Tonga protects land ownership: land cannot be sold to foreigners (although it may be leased). While there is a land shortage on the urbanised main island of Tongatapu (where 70% of the population resides), there is farmland available in the outlying islands. The majority of the population engages in some form of subsistence production of food, with approximately half producing almost all of their basic food needs through farming, sea harvesting, and animal husbandry.

Located in Oceania, Tonga is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, directly south of Samoa and about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. Its 169 islands, 36 of them inhabited, are divided into three main groups – Vava'u, Ha'apai, and Tongatapu – and cover an 800-kilometre (500-mile)-long north-south line.

The largest island, Tongatapu, on which the capital city of Nukuʻalofa is located, covers 257 square kilometres (99 sq mi). Geologically the Tongan islands are of two types: most have a limestone base formed from uplifted coral formations; others consist of limestone overlaying a volcanic base.

Tonga is home to some 106,000 people, but more than double that number live overseas, mainly in the US, New Zealand and Australia. Remittances from the overseas population has been declining since the onset of the 2008 global economic crisis. The tourism industry is improving, but remains modest at under 90,000 tourists per year.

 

 

 

Tonga has begun implementing tailor-made policies to power its remote islands in a sustainable way without turning to expensive grid-extensions. A number of islands lack a basic electricity supply, a supply entirely coming from imported diesel: in 2009, 19% of GDP and 25% of imports consisted of diesel.

In view of the decreasing reliability of fossil-fuel electricity generation, its increasing costs and negative environmental side-effects, renewable energy solutions have attracted the government's attention. Together with IRENA, Tonga has charted out a renewable energy based strategy to power the main and outer islands alike. The strategy focuses on Solar Home Systems that turn individual households into small power plants. In addition, it calls for the involvement of local operators, finance institutions and technicians to provide sustainable business models as well as strategies to ensure the effective operation, management and maintenance once the systems are installed.

With the assistance of IRENA, Tonga has developed the 2010–2020 Tonga Energy Road Map (TERM), which aims for a 50% reduction of diesel importation. This will be accomplished through a range of appropriate renewable technologies, including wind and solar, as well as innovative efficiencies.

 

 

Our Trustees believe that it might be useful to anyone interested in progressing low carbon transport, for us to plan a route for the Elizabeth Swan, such that if it is deemed a worthy cause in the battle to tackle climate change, that we have a plan in place to demonstrate clean ocean transport is not as far away as one might imagine, should the political will crystallize to accelerate sustainable technology after COP 24 in December 2018.

 

If the Foundation were to support the initiation of such a challenge, it would be in a dual format, also being designed as  an ocean awareness event to attract a global audience to gain the highest potential media coverage.

 

 

Nukualofa Tonga to Suva Fiji world's fastest solar boat circumnavigation

 

8TH LEG - The eighth leg of this zero carbon voyage is approximately 410 nautical miles from Nukualofa, Tonga to Suva, Fiji. At a cruising speed of 7 knots this leg would take 2.5 days to complete. At 6 knots the journey would take 3 days.

 

 

Hence this is a theoretical exercise to determine what might be possible in the world of cargo and passenger transport if future ships were to use a power formula derived from the Elizabeth Swan and SeaVax platforms, to increase voyage speed for zero carbon shipping such as to be commercially viable and non polluting.

 

The following then is a contingency plan to be ready should the Foundation or any Government, Organization, ocean literacy associate or collaborative research partner decide (jointly) that we are in a suitably robust position to mount such a challenge to be worthwhile in awareness terms, including advancing climate control knowledge.

 

The above does not preclude the possibility of  responsible commercial associates enjoining - being a most welcome prospect, perhaps when the Foundation is further along the R&D line and any proposed circumnavigation presents less of a technical risk share to potential contributors and end users, such as ship builders and fleet operators. Such partnerships might accelerate project development considerably.

 

 

 

 

 

OCEAN AWARENESS - PROVISIONING & MEDIA STOPS

 

We are making allowance for nineteen (19) provisioning and Public Relations stops of three days duration each. This adds an extra 57 days to the expedition in the interests of furthering awareness objectives. Hence, the passage would not be an outright race, unless any consortium providing financial incentives decided not to stop for photo opportunities by way of a condition in accepting support. If a race was decided on, provisions for a 3-4 person crew would need to be stored on board. Being solar and wind powered there is no need for conventional refueling.

 

 

 

RECORD HOLDER - On the 4th of May 2012, history was made, as Raphael Domjan, at the helm of a giant of a catamaran powered only by solar panels crossed the finishing line at Monaco to become the first electric boat to sail around the world. MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, known under the project name PlanetSolar, was (@ 2018) the largest solar-powered boat in the world. The vessel was launched on the 31st March 2010, also going into the Guinness Book of World Records with a time of 584 days to better by any contender. The project was mostly financed by Immo Stroeher, the owner of the boat. Though a magnificent endeavour, PlanetSolar was not designed at the outset to take full advantage of energy from nature, but was rather a very much modified ferry design.

 

 

 

FOSSIL FUELS - The Cable and Wireless Adventurer was built for the purpose of circumnavigating the world in less than 80 days. This was successfully accomplished in July 1998 in 74 days, 20 hours, 58 minutes, traveling more than 22,600 nautical miles (26,000 miles or 41,855 km). This achievement set a new Guinness World Record for a diesel powered vessel. The nautical mile or knot, is a unit of speed equal to approximately 1.15078 miles per hour on land (1.852 km). Solar power cannot compete with diesel engines. This boat is though one of the links in the evolution, or archaeology of efficient hulls.

 

 

CIRCUMNAVIGATION MILESTONE EXPEDITION ESTIMATES

 

LEG

NAUTICAL MILES

TIME IN PORT

WAYPOINT

SUNSHINE DAYS

-

-

-

-

-

START

-

-

Monaco

0.00

1

784

2

Gibraltar

4.67

2

729

2

Tenerife, Canary Islands

4.34

3

3,154

2

Trinidad, Port of Spain

18.77

4

1,182

2

Panama City

7.04

5

970

2

Galapagos

5.77

6

3,640

2

Tahiti

21.67

7

1,423

2

Tonga, Nukualofa

8.47

8

410

2

Fiji, Suva

2.44

9

1,886

2

Port Moresby PNG

11.23

10

340

2

Thursday Island, Cape York

2.02

11

724

2

Darwin

4.31

12

1,572

2

Jakarta, Indonesia

9.36

13

1,881

2

Colombo, Sri Lanka

11.20

14

2,109

2

Aden, Yemen

12.55

15

698

2

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

4.15

16

670

2

Port Said, Egypt

3.99

17

1,111

2

Palermo, Sicily

6.61

18

170

2

Naples, Italy

1.01

19

393

FINISH

Monaco

2.34

-

-

-

-

-

-

23,846

36

RUNTIME DAYS @ 7kts

141.94

-

-

-

-

-

+ 10% service

= 156.13 Days

-

7 KNOTS AVE INC PORT & %

192.13

-& maintenance

-

-

AT 6 KNOTS AVE

224.16

 -

-

-

AT 5 KNOTS AVE

268.99

 

CLIMATE CHANGER - The above table illustrates one of the most likely ocean awareness expedition routes, known as the 'Sunshine Route,' showing the time elapsed in days for 7 knots average cruising speed, including times for 5 and 6 knot averages - allowing for 10% downtime and 36 days in ports. Hence, although the objective is to reduce the current solar circumnavigation record from 584 days, the event in not an outright non-stop yacht competition in the offshore racing sense. It remains to be seen how accurate such a prediction might be. In this table we only allowed 36 days for provisioning and PR but added a 10% contingency for servicing, that could be used for additional time in ports. As a Climate Changing event, performance is one of the main criteria, especially concerning the possibilities for a transition to low carbon shipping and the contribution this might make in combating global warming.

 

 

USE THE LINKS ABOVE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE PROPOSED WORLD ROUTE WAYPOINTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOC Challenge British Oxygen Company sailing yachts Clipper round the world yacht race Global Challenge steel formular yacht race round the world Golden Globe

 

Velux ocean 5 sailing yacht race Vendee Globe Volvo ocean race Whitbread round the world yacht race

 

 

 

LINKS & REFERENCE

 

https://www.planetsolar.org/

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/first-circumnavigation-by-solar-powered-boat

 

 

 This website is provided on a free basis as a public information service. Copyright © Cleaner Oceans Foundation Ltd (COFL) (Company No: 4674774) 2019. Solar Studios, BN271RF, United Kingdom. COFL is a charity without share capital.

 

 

 

 

OCEAN AWARENESS CIRCUMNAVIGATION WORLD RECORDS EXPEDITION