Sunday, 5 August 2012

Cruising Ha'apai and spotting whales

Just a quick little post as we're about to download weather, so I might as well do a post at the same time.

We cleared into Ha'apai in Pangai (they want you to clear in and out of the different island groups in Tonga), and checked out the little town there, but headed out again the same day. Our first anchorage was Uoleva, just south of Lifuka. It's a nice beach with lots of coral wrapping around the anchorage. We knew the wind was going to change from the usual SE (trade wind) to more N and up to 25 knots of it, however, there arent' as many all weather anchorages down here. The second day and night got pretty windy and choppy, but it was lovely deep sand, so anchor was safe, we were just a bit uncomfortable. Phil and I were invited over to Denique (yet another Christchurch boat!!) for morning coffee, and we set out in our dinghy, but didn't get far before a wave caught underneath and flipped us over backwards! We swam us and the dinghy back to Soph and Phil started the process of ridding the outboard of saltwater with WD40. Needless to say, we stayed on Sophia the rest of the day!

Before the wind came up, a local guy took us and Sala spearfishing/snorkeling on the reef. He shot several small reef fish (according to him, Tongans like and cook small fish, whereas Palangi (white people) like big fish, which Tongans only eat raw. We got one of the fish and ate it, but it was unfair to the little fish, because we also had the last of the tuna we caught and nothing beats tuna ), and we enjoyed the snorkel, saw a sleeping leopard shark (we think), but the coolest part, was hearing the whale song underwater. Very similar to Dory's whale speak in Finding Nemo, and what I have also been trying to 'speak' to lure in the whales, but until Ha'apai, unsuccessful.

We have seen whales every single day here in Ha'apai, even from the anchorage. Humpback whales are very acrobatic and sometimes throw themselves totally (or partially) out of the water, so splashes is what you look out for when trying to spot them! It's very very cool cruising with whales.

Today we have moved to another anchorage a bit further south again, called Uonukuhihifo (quite a mouthful to try and say), which apparently is the place to try and catch crayfish/lobster, we shall see, will let you kno whow it goes in the next post.

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