Sunday, September 24, 2017

Week two of exploring Tonga

We're still here. It's been two weeks of exploring the Vava'u group and we could easily stay another two weeks. There's 42 charted anchorages scattered around the group, each uniquely different with something enticing to offer. 

In the past seven days we have swam through underwater caves, gorged ourselves on a Tongan feast, hiked through thick forests (leaving us thinking, 'This isn't what I thought Tonga would look like'), snorkeled coral gardens, hung out with local families and have relished in Tonga's ridiculously awesome weather. Just about every day is partially sunny, 82 degrees with low humidity. Each of us takes turns with the obligatory, "This weather is amazing!" 

There's a large population of cows on some of the islands.

Anchorage spot between #16 and #17

Tonga is known for their whale swimming/ watching tours. Like an idiot, I promised the girls we would swim with the whales before knowing what it would cost. Taking people out to swim with whales is where Tongans make the majority of their money as it costs $225 USD per person. If we were on 'vacation mode' I could justify swallowing that cost, but we're not. Personally, after seeing some of the small whale watching boats zoom around the island group, practically motoring on top of pods (often splitting pods apart) I'm okay with not being apart of the operation. 
This whale used his fluke to constantly splash at the boat who followed him. Seemed like he was signaling, "GO AWAY" or was putting on a fun show.

With the girls still wanting to get up close to whales, we opted to anchor at one of the most southern anchorages where locals told us we would spot whales. Technically there is no law prohibiting cruisers from attempting to use their own boats or dinghies to spot whales, obviously the locals who run whale watching boats will tell you different. While anchored at #36, we along with buddy boats, Me Too and Slow Flight, hopped in our dinghies to see about swimming with whales. We got somewhat close (not nearly as close as the local boats) to a pod of whales and the girls were able to get a glimpse. Me Too and Slow Flight did much better, they were able to come along side a whale and her calf and snap this amazing photo.

With near perfect weather, more anchorages to explore and still waiting on our replacement DeLorme, we'll continue to explore this magnificent part of the world before sailing south to explore another of Tonga's island groups. 

Swimming through the underwater cave, Mariner's Cave

Anchorage #36


  1. Heard about your story whilst reading daily news titbits on my Samsung. Totally in awe of your get up and go decision wish i could do this too. Maybe one day when my kids are older. Life is way too short to spend it in one place. Will keep reading .. Tonga looks so beautiful loving the blues.