Posted by: catamarantwooceans | August 10, 2010

Neiafu, Vava’u – Tonga

8.9.10 – Sunday – The initial plan was to go to church at 1000 so Meir will be able to experience  a south pacific mass and then leave for Vava’u. This meant departure around 1200 and arrival in the late afternoon or even evening, not desirable. So I promised Meir there will be another opportunity and we set out to leave after breakfast. While we were having that we saw Mary and Mike going out, also to Neiafu, the central town of Vava’u. An hour later we followed suite, pulling the anchor up by hand against an easterly wind of 15-17 knots. We motored out the pass, gave the island a wide berth going clockwise around it to turn south for our destination. Around the corner came a yacht. “Hey, it’s Carpe Vita coming back! I hope they don’t have any problems”  We spoke on the VHF and Mary said the sea outside was rough with a strong current pushing them towards the island so they decided to go back and wait for better conditions. The pleasures of not having a schedule! We, of course, kept going on.

The sea WAS rough, during the day the wind reached 28 knots and in combination with the waves made life unpleasant on board. We can take it. First, second and then third reef and still we were going over 7 knots. You’ll understand how it was when I tell you there was no cooking; we just ate tuna out of the can…

9.9.10 – Monday – Same conditions during the night, the sea moderating a bit. Two vessels were sighted sailing north. As first light crept in I could see Vava’u on the horizon. Three hours to go. As we entered the maze that Vava’u is the winds started playing tricks, bent in all directions by the many islands.

entering Vava'u

We motored into the main bay and by 1100 took up a charter company’s mooring . Not an easy trip but we’re here. First impressions: this is very much like the British Virgin Islands; Islands big and small wherever you look, many yachts and lots of bars, restaurants and the like. I will possibly change my views when we will start seeing whales, this place is supposed to have them in great numbers!

Nieafu bay

We went over to the “Moorings” office with the thought that with a big fleet of yachts they will surely have the technicians we need. Well, perhaps they do, but it is their high season and no body is available. “Go to the Giggling Whale restaurant, Sandy, the owner will help you”. Sandy is a Scottish Australian ex pat and has the right connection. He makes a few calls and tells me that Ashley, the welder, will come later in the day. They will call us on VHF. We wait and wait and nobody comes or calls.  Long after I gave up hope, close to sunset, Sandy calls: “The technician is here!” I haul the heavy windlass, dinghy ashore and meet David, Ashley’s partner. David, or Tavita in Tongan, who is a mechanic and electrician, is not a young man. He lost a leg and is walking around on crutches. He takes the windlass and promises to call in the morning and give an estimate for the work.

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