Tonga: East Coast of 'Eua 4

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (50)

Minka Tsoneva (Mimip… on May 7, 2010

Wow, wow, wow! Interesting shot!

Cheers, Mimi

silgab on May 8, 2010


Ian Stehbens on May 9, 2010

Greetings Mimi,

I am delighted that you are impressed by this phenomena. I found the east coast of 'Eua generally awesome and diverse. Thank you for your visit. I am impressed by the artistic qualities of your album, so I am adding it into my favourites.



Ian Stehbens on May 9, 2010

Thank you Gab Silva. It is a stunning coast, and this little piece of it was quite awesome. I am pleased to share it with you.

Warm regards,

Ian (in Sydney)

♫ Swissmay 2 on August 18, 2010

Dear Ian, I was captured by this photo at first sight, when it turned up on my screen about three weeks ago. Your photos have an extreme effect on me, I actually could write to most of them about some sudden insights I get, about a lifting of a veil... As so many others, this photo stirred up something in me. I just had to write and I wrote a long text, of what it reflected in me. Unfortunately I lost all of it, so I went on search for the photo again and I try to recall, but it's of no use, because those thoughts are insights of short moments only. So I just write, what I feel now. Next time, I simply send my first thoughts without editing them ;) Of course I have this photo in my favourites, thank you very much!

At first sight, I thought the black side was the deep ocean, as you described it and the white side looked to me like bleached rough rocks. It looks like a yin-yang picture, and reminded me of how both sides together showed all, which is a key for all of us. The side of the subconconscious hidden deep inside of us, our lives and destinies exposed to the powerful waves, which tell us something of the continuous circle of life, in which we are all enclosed, in spite of our wishes and hopes and so little powers, we are all so unimportant as individuals.

Ian, my friend, you are privileged to get to know these waves not only on the coasts, but just as much or more in destinies of people and you make use of your great talent. You are right in the middle of life and you have a deep understanding of sorrows and joys in people of so many different nationalities. Thank you for your work, thank you for your photos, thank you for your descriptions, which give me so much.

Yours, May

Ian Stehbens on August 20, 2010

Dear May,

Your responses and your friendship are highly valued, I assure you. It is so special that Panoramio is not just an exchange of simple affirmations but that we are able to engage with each other, with the images and with the occasion of the culture or the people. A most sincere thanks for your part in making Pano a special experience for many people in the network.

This particular place was quite unexpected - when I looked down from the cliffs and saw this phenomenon I was spellbound. I have tried to imagine the sheer scale of it all - how much energy is transmitted to and unleashed on this coast.

The idea of the storm on Sea of Galilee conveys the experience of the early church under the Roman persecution with all their anxiety and fear and being threatened, which is greater than the physical storm on the actual lake. I say this because 'Eua Island and Sea of Galilee are equal in size, but of course they are turned inside out: the sea surrounds the land here, but in Galilee it is the land that surrounds the sea.

In both there are tremendous forces of nature in operation. Tectonic tearing of Africa from Asia on the one hand, and the Pacific Plate being subducted beneath the Tonga-Australia Plate on the other. As this happens the east face of 'Eua pictured here is being uplifted as a bulwark against the open ocean in which mighty energy is transmitted - for 8000km, uninterrupted, until it is unleashed here!

Here the storms at sea, recur, perpetuate, regenerate, dissipate, unleash, explode continuously with every wave, repeatedly, continuously, eternally. Can the power of this be measured, or imagined?

And next month I intend to return to this island during our mid-semester week's break. What will be in store? And I am taking some more people with me, even some leading Tongans who have never been here - just one island away from where we live.

Alps (Eiger, Jungfraujoch or Engadin), coral islands, Sea of Galilee or 'Eua all beg us to ask questions, to be respectful of scale, process, pattern and creativity. And they all ask of us that we ask questions - for to question is to begin to understand.

One day, I pray, we may stand side by side in awe. Not just figuratively but in reality. Until then we will continue to share imaginatively. You will be beside me when I next stand on these cliffs of 'Eua.


Margrit M. Berger (S… on January 3, 2011

Dear Ian, I met your wonderful words again literally at the last minute on the last page 50 of my conversations. Actually at the right moment to roam with my thoughts! This time of year seems always to be very special, very meditative, looking behind and looking hopefully forward, at least in our region of the Northern hemisphere, where the nights are long and cold. It's the time, when we feel more than any other time that we are like a nutshell in the ocean, being at the mercy of the winds or of this incredible power as you describe it so impressively, that philosophical thoughts cross our minds - thoughts I would so much love to exchange with you.

Thank you for your friendship, for your patience, for letting us take part in your insights. Everytime I visit your album, I see photos, by which I feel strongly attracted. The more I look at them, the more I listen to your tales, the more I get caught and the more I participate your experiences! Thank you, my friend for taking me around on all the travels, on which I meet people from other continents, by which I feel the power of the sea, the storms...

I feel the earth being a wobbling and permanently moving organisme. Every stone that falls down the mountain slope, every drop of water running down the stream a witness of our living and constantly changing earth - a witness, that every moment lies in the past, that nothing can be kept, everything is in move and permanent change. We, being literally dust of the stars in our composition, being able to enjoy this beauty, being able to suffer because of the transience of this all and finally of ourselves - a gift maybe.

To question is to begin to understand - oh yes, and this starts at early childhood. Often, to doubt is to begin to question also. So doubt is the fruit of thoughts, sometimes we seem to understand, only to find out, that we are far from understanding - which makes us feel helpless - and finally humble.

If in reality or in imagination, I know, we will share similar thoughts about the geological ongoings on our Earth and other philosophical thoughts, I will learn from you, since the thoughts are free to cross oceans, continents and space, no matter if it's a wild coast like 'Eua as you experience or a mountain or on a plane high above the clouds. Thank you again! My best wishes are with you and your lovely family!


Ian Stehbens on January 26, 2011

Dear May,

Your words are precious, your thoughts are imbued with humility and compassion, and your empathy is profound. I have printed what you have written and will treasure it.

As we have "travelled together" your thoughts have often intertwined with mine and at other times they have sparked new ideas. Always your conversations on the journey have been appreciative, as is your excellent photography!

Appreciatively and humbly,


Margrit M. Berger (S… on February 5, 2011

Dear Ian, you do me a great honour! I am proud to know you and to imagine that you are at my side, while walking in my region or travelling in some other places. And more so, when I am reading your tales of countries and people, walking in thoughts along with you in your part of the world.

Your talent, seeing with warmth and generosity into the heart of people, understanding their needs, their happiness and sufferings, lets us hope of a peaceful future. Thank you for all, thank you for being Ian, a friend in and to this world of social and geological unrest.


Ian Stehbens on February 6, 2011

Dear May,

Though we may never walk together, we will continue to 'walk together' letting our separate journeys interact, even engage with one another's. Thank you for being a fellow pilgrim, sometimes walking in serene serendipity, at other times more on the exciting edges of our restless world. Thank you for such a special relationship.

Warm regards,


Sign up to comment. Sign in if you already did it.

Photo details

  • Uploaded on September 13, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens