Birds on Passage

As we leave New Zealand we see numerous seabirds like gannets and petrels but as we get further from land, encounters are less frequent. A few hundred miles north, we sometimes see Albatross. This pair of Royal Albatross circled our boat for a while. Always a treat! This albatross flew around our boat for several [...]

By | June 8th, 2019|2019-Tonga|7 Comments

South Minerva Reef

We arrived at the South Minerva Reef on May 6th. North and South Minerva are atolls about 18 miles apart, set roughly 800 miles from New Zealand, 250NM from Tongatapu and 350NM from Suva, Fiji . The reefs are submerged at high tide but provide a spot to take refuge (and do boat repairs) on [...]

By | June 11th, 2019|2019-Tonga|6 Comments

Passage Moments

Not everyday, but as we approached Latitude 25, and again between Minerva and Tonga, we had some squally conditions. It took our full concentration, watching the skies and radar to try to anticipate their path and maneuver around them. Generally they moved east to west. Our radar screen showing red and green indicating heavy rain [...]

By | June 13th, 2019|2019-Tonga|9 Comments

Tongatapu Tour

We took a couple days to get checked in with the Tongan officials, rest and reprovision. The weekend was coming up and Saturday was looking like it was going to be a nice day. Our taxi driver, Inoki, suggested he could take us on a tour of the island for a special price of $150 [...]

By | June 14th, 2019|2019-Tonga|2 Comments

Kelefesia Island

We left Tongatapu and sailed to Kelefesia, about 50NM north. On the way, we caught a mahimahi. Something for the freezer! Bull mahimahi We found a sandy patch and anchored with plenty of swing room. Saltheart was anchored a little closer in and two more yachts arrived a couple hours later. Ian, Wendy and Amy [...]

By | June 26th, 2019|2019-Tonga|10 Comments

Telekitonga Island

It is a treat to have an uninhabited tropical island to ourselves. Telekitonga is one of the eastern barrier islands, located 15 miles northeast of Kelefesia and 60 miles north of Tongatapu. Similar to windward islands in the Ha'apai Group, it is low-lying and fringed by reefs. A sandy beach lines the shore and palms [...]

By | June 29th, 2019|2019-Tonga|5 Comments

Uonukuhahaki & Uonukuhihifo

Seeking refuge from the southerly swell, we sailed north about 30 miles. We hooked a few fish on the way. This skipjack didn't quite make it to our boat before a large wahoo took a bite! Another mahimahi which Monty released as he thought it was a bit small. It was not our first stop [...]

By | July 4th, 2019|2019-Tonga|7 Comments

Fishing in Vava’u

We were sipping our cappuccinos on the boat on the weekend in Neiafu, wondering what we were going to do for the day. We had been getting pretty bored lately, waiting for a weather window to leave Tonga. We were thinking of heading out to Mounu to kite. We had been there to check it [...]

By | July 11th, 2019|2019-Tonga|0 Comments

Foa Island, Ha’apai Group

We waited in a safe, sandy anchorage off Ha'apai Beach Resort near Pangai for a couple of nasty troughs to pass through. Buckets of rain fell and gale-force winds briefly whipped up. Whistler's Anchor Watch showing the boat dancing around the anchor counter-clockwise. Once the weather settled, we headed up to Foa Island. In 2017, [...]

By | August 10th, 2019|2019-Tonga|5 Comments