Like last year, we spent Canada Day in Vavau. We were the only Canadian boat in town!

We flew a few large flags to celebrate our nation’s 150th Anniversary!

Celebrating Canada Day with cruising friends, Amy and David on Starry Horizons (from the US) and Mark and Dianne from Mustang Sally (from Australia) at Mango Cafe. The Canadian owners of a local deli and the manager of the cafe were the only other Canadians at the table. The Mango’s manager, Doug from Thunder Bay, served us Bloody Caesar’s made with a powdered clamato juice mix he had kept for such special occasions!

Falaleu Deli, owned by Canadians

Monty at Falaleu Deli, a welcome addition to our provisioning options in Vava’u. Owned by a couple from Winnipeg, they have as assortment of sausages, ham, sandwiches made with Bannock bread, prepared meat servings like stuffed chicken thighs and pork pinwheels.  Chorizo sausages were a new creation on their menu.  We love them with spaghetti and fresh basil from my herb garden (now, sadly, getting a bit root bound!).

We needed some exercise, so we took various walks around town.

Reminded me of my teddy bear who needed more frequent washings than he was given! 🙂

Interesting garden pots

Street walker!

Love the curtains! Always a pig or dog or both in the yard.

Interesting advertisements on this “building”. Along with pigs, dogs are everywhere.  They tend to be a content unaggressive lot.

The Catholic Church, with its tired signage (“Holy Door of _ercy”), is a major landmark for ships entering the harbour.  It is packed on Sundays.

We hiked to the top of Mt. Talau, overlooking Nieafu Harbour.  A set of stairs leads up the side of the mountain.  The stairs are sloped downwards, no doubt to let the water run off them and were they steep! I never liked heights, so on the way down, I had to walk backwards, holding on to the somewhat questionable guard rail.

Hiking up to Mt Talau

The view of the Port of Refuge, as Nieafu Harbour is also known.

Sadly, the mountain lookout was littered with cans, despite valiant efforts to change behaviour.

Recycling programs, like this one at the park entrance, are gradually being adopted. We did see an improvement over last year, though the town always looks its best when the king is in town!  We hope the Tongans embrace recycling though it is a difficult challenge to know what to do it once collected.  The landfills are not the answer but more appealing than the ocean, especially for all the plastic.

On another walk to the south of town, we saw lots of more of Tongan life, a few farms and an inn called Vavau Villas.

Vavau Villas

Vavau Villa’s outdoor tent accommodation, with resident free-range chickens!

Stanley’s Bar & Restaurant, which sat in a boat!  It did not seem to be in operation. A lot of businesses don’t survive in Tonga.

More free-range swine!

A nice home on a fairly protected inlet with its own dock and fishing boat.

Boy playing “stick”, the same game we saw boys playing in Fiji. Maybe like racing dinky cars around, as we did as children. My brothers should recall that! 

Poinsettias in glorious bloom

Our most recent visit to Nieafu was to reunite with Suellen Tomkins.  She was on our Mahina Expedition (offshore sailing school) in 2014.  She and her husband, Scott, and another couple from Australia had chartered a catamaran in Nieafu.  We got together a couple times around Vavau.  It was great to catch up with her and learn of their exciting news!  They are buying a new Fountaine Pajot Helia 44 Catamaran, just like Starry Horizons (see for their blog).  S&S’s cat will be launched next April in France!

Scott, Suellen, Margy and Monty

One evening, while watching a slideshow presentation by a couple Astronauts, we met two University of New Brunswick students working as volunteers for the Vavau Environmental Protection Association.  We arranged to take them out on a boat for a day sail. They were delightful!

Islay and Danielle

In Nieafu Harbour

We got to do some light wind sailing and saw lots of whales.  We even had sunshine!