Back in Tahiti where things were expensive we ran across these little gems for 1200 francs ($14.00 US) at the duty free store. For the price of one beer at a club we could buy 5 liters of Heineken goodness in a package that fit perfectly in our freezer. Between Delos and Ghost we bought 45 of these, spread over 2 trips to the duty free store. One late night in a stroke of brilliance we decided to save all our empties and build a Heineken keg raft at some point down the road.
We drank and saved and drank and saved until the aft locker of Delos was overflowing with empty kegs, barely leaving enough room for our spinnakers. From July to September we were diligent, never losing sight of our goal. Over the months we plotted, planned, and refined our ideas along the way. It was tough work but we persevered saving over 25 empty kegs by mid-September.
As we drew nearer to the culmination of our plans we realized one sad fact. Given the buoyancy of one mini keg we were going to need more empties to make a proper raft and float a full sized adult. In an emergency committee meeting we decided to task each team member with drinking one keg by themselves. No help and no cheating. “Heineken mini keg day” was born!
To commemorate the event Erin and Brady came up with a custom shirt design made at Tropical Tease in Neiafu. As word got out in the Tonga cruising scene we began hearing from Tropical Tease, asking for permission to make more shirts. It seemed the design was popular and other cruisers wanted to get in on the action. We decided to allow it, with the condition that they A) met us on the beach to participate or B) drank the equivalent amount of 15 beers on their own (honor system). We began to see our shirts on cruising friends at dinner, restaurants, and walking around town. A few people not in the loop thought we were crew on a large super yacht since we all matched so well.
“Pia” means beer in Tongan. Erin won’t say more about the meaning of “On Mia”, except that it rhymes and sounds funny when said together. There are lots of whales in these waters so Brady decided we should have a keg on the whales back, with the tap dribbling into it’s mouth.
The back of the men’s shirt is obvious- how could it be complete without a topless mermaid holding a dolphin? The back of the women’s shirt is a sweet Tongan turtle.
Everything finally fell into place on a deserted beach on Vaka’eitu Island, Vava’u Tonga where the conditions were perfect.
OK, enough writing, now for the pictures. By the way- if anyone has a contact at Heineken we’d love for them to see this……
Brady crashing through the Heineken Wall