Since Brad Johnson’s visit with us, we repeated a few anchorages and have tried some new ones. Monty said it is like picking which mountain to ski or which run for the best powder! The one for the kiting, the one for snorkelling, the one with the potluck on the beach or the one with the best apres at the bottom! Having buddy boats to enjoy it with has been a bonus!
All the anchorages are numbered, by the Moorings Charter Company, to make it easier for their customers. It also makes it easy for cruisers to tell people where they are.
We headed back to Mounu and Monty got in another lesson with Brent, a visiting instructor at the island and a super nice guy. Monty has been catching onto the kiting quickly and is really enjoying it. His experience with windsurfing helps, no doubt!
We revisited #16 (Vaka’eitu Island) and walked along the beach at low tide.
When it looked like we would have settled weather for a few days, we decided to sail to Kenutu Island on the eastern edge of the Vava’u Group. We navigated east through a shallow channel at high noon to avoid reefs on our way east. We had been through it with Brad, so it was old hat! The markers on the chart had disappeared in a storm but we were able to find our way with a look out on the bow. We got a sample of the east coast in the protection of Kenutu Island with Gypsea Heart, 360 Blue and Havachat. It was actually pretty busy there but the light winds had inspired cruisers to venture out from the usual hot spots.
Pete on Havachat had caught a 19kg wahoo on his way to the island. He showed us the large carcass hanging off the back of his boat. He and his wife, Martina, had us over for a beer in the spacious cockpit of their Privilege 515 and discussed fishing lures. He kindly offered us a piece for our dinner. It was so nice to have some fresh fish! We hope to catch some fish soon and return the favour soon!
We walked across the small island to cliffs overlooking the waves crashing on shore. It was a spectacular sight. The sounds of the waves is mesmerizing. We could see large turquoise coloured parrot fish swimming below us! Tempting to go fishing but no way to get there easily!
We wanted to do more exploring along the shoreline, but we decided to leave because the winds and swell were becoming uncomfortable at that anchorage.
We all moved west to anchorages #21 and #24 around Taunga Island. We paddled against a stiff breeze into the beach.
We walked maybe 100 metres and crossed to the other side of the island which also had a beautiful beach. Up 500 metres was a small village with 8 to 10 families and a new long cement jetty. Perhaps the old one was washed away in a cyclone. The village shoreline was decorated with numerous large banyan trees providing a beautiful bright green shade canopy for the modest homes. A few children were playing and curious about us but did not approach.
That evening we all went ashore for a potluck and bonfire.
We next headed west toward Hunga Lagoon. On the way, we stopped at Mounu Island. The wind seemed just enough for kiting so we went ashore and Monty got in a few good rides, figuring a few more things out.
We had the fishing lines out but did not catch anything on our way. The Hunga Lagoon entrance is a bit narrow and shallow, but we made it through the dogleg channel at mid-tide without incident.
We grabbed a mooring we had reserved. Havachat joined us and anchored. It was a busy time with the pig roast/potluck on that evening. Cindy and Barry, both Canadians, were gracious hosts. Barry showed us around their 4 acre property. The soil is rich and they are having good success with their plantings of papaya, taro and a variety of fruits and veggies. He has a problem with the feral pigs pulling up some plants, particularly banana tress, so he is planning to build a fence around it. That night he served up a huge platter of pork, thanks to one of the feral pigs he had caught on his property. The other guests had brought along lots of tasty dishes as well. We sat around the fire and chatted with the other cruisers and guests of cabins on the lagoon. It was a fun evening.
Back in Nieafu, more socializing with friends on Friday night. On Saturday am, we got our provisioning done at the local produce market which was already pretty pilfered by 8am. I got some downloading of software updates done. Internet is pretty slow in Vava’u and acquiring it is a slow, frustrating process at the Digicel office.
On Saturday night, we went with several friends to My Tongan Home for a feast and a cultural show.
It was cute to watch the young performers.
We had a visitor at our table!
Overall, it was a very nice evening, one we won’t forget.
The next day, we were about to leave the harbour and saw a boat sailing in, pretty close to us. Monty was quick to realize they had no engine and quickly dropped our dinghy into the water and I jumped in to assist. Coming in to the mooring field under sail is not fun. He later realized we had met them at a trivia night in Whangarei, NZ. They were Canadians from Victoria, on S/V Discover II. Always nice to run into fellow Canadians! They offered us some yellow fin tuna for assisting them. Given we have not caught a fish since arriving in Tonga, it was a welcome treat!
We talked to my Dad in Alberta by Skype and by FaceTime on his iPad in Ontario! He is really taking to this iPad stuff and it is so nice to be able to connect with him from so far away! He is on his way east, visiting relatives on his way to Nova Scotia where he is resettling. It is great to be able to talk to chat when we have internet and even the occasional FaceTime! Technology is wonderful, when it works!
Stay tuned, more news to come soon!