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 at this anchorage off Uonukuhihifo and Uonukuhahaki in the Ha’apai Group. We were hoping the islands would give us some better protection from the southerly swell and they did.

This image has the islands mislabelled. Uonukuhihifo is on the left and Uonukuhakaki is the larger one in the middle. Tofanga is the little island on the right.

In Tongan, nuku means assemble, hihifo means west and hahake means east. You can see the reasoning in that. We visited these islands a couple times in 2017. This time, we had the company of three or four familiar yachts, Halcyon 7, Saltheart, Malakite and, after these images were taken, Midnight Sun.

Luckily, the winds abated and the sun shone long enough to take a few drone shots.
It is a fair anchorage in sand with a bit of sea grass.
Saltheart anchored off Uonukuhahaki. Lots of coral to their east.

We took advantage of the calm sunny afternoon again by snorkelling the coral bommies just west of the anchorage. We found a nice array of healthy corals and small fish. Bigger fish like parrotfishes and triggerfish were around but disappeared quickly under cover when they saw us. This area is regularly fished by locals.

Colourful eye markings!
Orangefin anemonefish with numerous babies (Photo by Monty)
Nemo staring Monty down (Photo by Monty)
Photo by Monty
The island has a few access spots for getting ashore with the dinghy. We went for a walk to the northern end of the island.
Monty checked out the sandy beach to see if he could launch a kite. Wind direction was not quite right on this day.
Monty wade out into the channel to check the depth and current.

Tofanga is in the background. We found out (too late) we should have gone to the northern end of that island for launching and kiting. Next time!

Amongst the usual plastic and other treasures on the windward side of these islands, another FAD (Fish Attraction Device) had washed up. This one had a broken solar light attached.
Breaking wave with Tofua Island behind.
Sun rising between the islands

Next stop, Pangai to check in and wait for a trough to pass.