Vava'U, Tonga

August 23rd, 2011

What a shock to the system!  Not only has the landscape totally changed; gone are the low lying islands with a myriad of shoals and reefs to watch for, replaced with tall green, lush, rolling hills with lots of protected anchorage to tuck into.  But the town is nothing like Steve remembers it from seven years ago. We came directly to Nieafu, the main town, to check in and restock and were greeted by a harbour full of boats, 50 at least, all on moorings!!  For those of you who’ve been here the Mermaid (a “must see” watering hole) burnt down and so many buildings have gone up. A popular place with the ex-pats it seems many have made their home here and each one has opened a café cum restaurant/bar.  Finding a beer isn’t hard, in fact you could bar hop down the water front in your dingy, but it also isn’t cheap. There is also Moorings/Sunsail Charter outfit here and the tourism industry is alive and well, with so many palangi (Tongan for white person) around the prices surely reflect what they are willing to pay.  And with so many boats around there is lots of radio traffic, lots of gossip and lots of activities to take part in.  We’ve seen a few familiar hulls around but haven’t found any new or old friends yet.  After our month in Ha’apai searching for the perfect spot to duck out of the weather and never seeming to find it we treated ourselves to a mooring and have been enjoying hours of uninterrupted sleep the last few nights.   Batteries charged, coffers stocked and the wind blowing we are going to try and get out of town and check out some of the surrounding anchorages later this week. The whales are still around and we’ve heard a couple secret spots where you can swim with them, so here’s hoping.  I have posted some photos from Ha’apai with more to come in the next few days. We have internet on board, YIPEE!, so give us the news from your corner of the world or send us a few picture of what you’re up to lately!  Hope all is well, hear from you soon,


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