We have spent the last three nights anchored in the lee of a gorgeous uninhabited island named Avalau. The anchor is set in 30 feet of turquoise water just off an extensive barrier reef. The island is fronted by a long stretch of very fine powdery white sand. The protection from the trades is adequate but the wind waves wrap around the island making the stay a bit bumpy and rolly. We have been enjoying it here and catching up on some r&r. The first night we met the couple on the other boat here named LUCI; a nice Kiwi couple from North Island. He built his 42ft boat with his bare hands and it was just launched in April. We had a great time visiting with them and we all went to the beach in the evening for a bonfire. It was a picturesque setting and a great evening visiting with new friends.
I have been meaning to do a dive on a large coral head near the boat but between the cold air temps (ok maybe we’re going soft – it’s 74 degrees outside) and our lazy demeanor, I haven’t jumped in yet. I did change the transmission fluid and repair a small leak on the heat exchanger, so a little productivity has been thrown in the mix.
The boat JACARA that was planning to take us swimming with the whales had to fly back home to Italy before we had a decent weather window. The trades have been howling and kicking up big chop in the channels. Not the most ideal conditions to go swimming in. We’re bummed and are now debating whether to pay the 350 Pa’anga (~$160 dollars) each to take a commercial boat out to do the same. After all the repairs lately we aren’t exactly swimming in cash. We are hopeful we’ll be able to sell a few things at the nautical swap meet this Saturday. If so, maybe we’ll be in a position to go swim with the humpbacks.
Today we are pulling anchor and raising the mainsail to beat 5-6 miles to windward. We plan to drop anchor in Tapuna, aka anchorage 11, a very protected bay on the southern tip of Pangiamotu Island. We plan to spend the weekend there. We’ll take a cab into Neiafu for the swap meet on Saturday. We’ll also upload some pictures from our week of exploring. Then early next week we’ll continue our exploration of Vava’u and head to the far east side of the archipelago. Stay tuned.
Lewis & Alyssa
July 30, 2015
Avalau Island, Vava’u, Tonga
18 44.990 S
174 04.872 W