Wednesday, 11 July 2012

First week in Vava'u

We have now spent over a week in Vava’u and we’re still having a great time. Tonga is made up of 171 islands and four different groups. In the south is Tongatapu (with the capital Nukualofa), then Ha’apai, then Vava’u and in the very north the Niuas.  Most people are quite surprised to hear we came directly from Gisborne to Neiafu (Vava’u), as most leave from Opua and go to Nukualofa, which is the shortest distance, but our route made most sense to our situation.

The first three nights we spent in Neiafu as we had to get more fruit and veggies, do laundry, fix the leaking toilet pump and pick up our west marine (US) package with our BBQ mounts. A public holiday extended our stay with another day as everything was closed. Getting our parcel was very easy, except for the fact that I (Astrid) got chatting with a local girl while waiting in the office and one thing led to another and they thought I was with her and the peace corps or something, so 2 hours later I ended up paying duty on three drums with food and gods know what else before they realised all I was after was a small package to a yacht in transit! They all thought it was hilarious and were of course sorry about the mistake and gave me back my money. I had fun too and made a good friend whom we plan to visit in her village.
While in Neiafu we went to a local bar where the lady boys (can’t remember their proper name, but boys raised as girls if the first 4 kids are boys or something like that) do a weekly show. It was attended by both cruisers and locals and was good fun. The ‘girls’ would do individual routines and come flirt with the men in the audience and receive bills stuck under their dress straps. Steve from Rapsody (Lyttelton boat) took us and had been before, so he and Phil were hiding behind a table in the very back, haha.

When all our errands were done we couldn’t wait to get out of town to really get into the cruising life and snorkelling. We have been changing anchorage almost daily and we snorkel every single day.  There are tons of good anchorages and they are maximum half an hour apart of so, so cruising is very easy. It makes sense that it’s a sailing mecca and a popular charter destination.  However, it’s not crowded, usually there are only a few boats in each anchorage and it’s not hard to find one to yourself. The other cruisers are mostly Kiwis, Americans, British and French.

The weather had been nice and settled since we got here. It’s pleasantly warm, but not too warm and sometimes even cold enough for long sleeve and pants. The water is about 23-24 degrees, so a wet suit is required for snorkelling.  The water is beautiful and clear, we can usually see our anchor at 10 meters depth. There are some coral, but compared to the Red Sea and other places, it’s not that spectacular. Where there’s coral, there are lots of small tropical fish, but nothing big. I was lucky enough to see a big turtle plotting along the bottom when checking our anchor, but Phil missed it. It almost makes up for me missing the orca on our passage, but not quite!

We won’t blog as often now, because we don’t need to download the weather every few days as we just get the weather forecast over the vhf, so it’s only when we’re in town we have internet. I have uploaded more photos to facebook, so check it out if you'd like to see images to our stories.

No comments:

Post a Comment