A Whale of a Time

Unbelievably another week has disappeared but it has been a week of excitement.
Last Sunday we departed Uoleva Island where we had been for a few days and sailed south to the unpronounceable Uonukuhahaki Island. It apparently means East Lobster Island and yes there is a West Lobster Island, which is Uonukuhihifo. The two islands are joined by a sandbar. We spent a few days here flying the drone off the beach and managed to avoid the trees. We also snorkeled off the beach where there was some nice coral and lots of fish.

We were the only boat anchored here, though we could see a catamaran anchored about a mile away next to Tofanga Island. At about 9pm on Monday evening we were engrossed watching “Game of Thrones” (our new addiction) on the laptop when we heard a boat named Kalea calling us on the VHF radio.This was the catamaran we could see in the distance. They had been ashore for the evening on Tofanga island and whilst they were busy exploring, the tide had come in and their dinghy h…

Happy Ha'apai

Last Saturday (21st) we left our pretty little anchorage north of Nuku island and headed west to Ovaka Island, one of the most south westerly islands in the Vava’u Group. We anchored in front of the government primary school. Just imagine going to a primary school right on the beachfront, what a wonderful setting!We spent Sunday being mainly lazy but did do some preparations for our sail south on Monday, including getting the dinghy and outboard motor back on board X-Pat. We even had a dry night!

On Monday, we were up at 4am and left the anchorage at 4:30 am for the 64nm sail south to the Ha’apai group. We left early as we had some reefs to negotiate at our destination and it is best to do this when the sun is still high in the sky and one can see the reefs.
The wind had obligingly swung from south to east and so it was up with the sails and off with the engine and off we went. This was the first time we had hoisted the sails since we arrived in Vava’u, so it was a bit of a novelty sail…

Visitors, Feasts and Antibiotics

Well another week (or maybe more!) has passed since the last blog, so here we go again. Malcolm and Ange arrived on Tuesday (10th) bearing welcome gifts of cheese, chocolate, gin and whisky. We spent the first day having a look around the main town (Nieafu) and sampling the local food and drink and then it was back to X-Pat for some more food and drink!
On Wednesday we set off, motoring through the beautiful tree covered islands for a few hours, to the island of Nuapapa. We anchored off the beach in early afternoon and then headed into the beach in the evening for a Tongan feast. Dinghy transfers always carry a bit of risk and despite the relatively calm conditions this one didn’t go well. We arrived at a pier that looked a bit tumbled down. Debi jumped off and was busy helping Ange ashore when something went wrong. We’re not sure what but Ange fell back onto the dinghy and both Ange and Pat ended up in the water. This was a somewhat embarrassing start to the feast!
It was only when Pat…