Friday, November 30, 2012

Pictures from Vava'u

Some pictures from our stay in the delightful island group of Vava'u, Tonga. We stayed in a dozen anchorages throughout these islands for about 7 weeks.

Peaceful anchorage off Nuku island

Vines in the forest. We found a great walk across Vaka 'eitu island to a private surf-washed beach.

Blue Linckia Sea Star on the reef at Euakafa island

Beach walk at Euakafa island

Village walk - Ofu island

Little girls threading Plumeria flowers to make sweet scented leis at Ofu Island

A co-operative group weaving pandanus mats at Ofu Island

Children on the main road on Ofu island.  

Gathering fallen mangoes while hiking on Ofu

Typical fishing boat - Ofu island

On the veranda at the Aquarium restaurant in Neiafu, celebrating Rani's 50th

Brad and Gloria off 'Kindred Spirit' helped us celebrate Rani's 50th in Neiafu

Chris, Marni, and Mike (from 'Picara') watch the surf between Kenutu and Lolo islands

Sea weed at Kenutu island

Shells at Kenutu island

Corals at Lolo island

Tree house on Kenutu

View from the south end of Kenutu

Karen from 'Chapter 2' ready to enter Swallow's Cave

Swallow's Cave with genuine Tongan graffiti (some dating to the 19th century)

Chris, Rani, andd Mike from 'Chapter 2' in  Swallow's Cave - thanks to 'Chapter 2' for the pictures of Swallow's Cave.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pictures from Niuatoputapu

These photos were taken on Niuatoputapu, the most northern of Tonga's islands:

Chris walking in the old village of Falehau with Doug off 'Long Shot II' and Brad and Linda from 'Lark' . Note the pig and horse grazing on the lawns. If you want to keep livestock away, you fence them out, not in...

Horse, 'Long Shot II', and the volcanic cone of Tafahi

Pigs outnumbered the horses and probably humans as well.

Graves were decorated with piles of crushed corals and beautiful hand-sewn quilts

Health nurse, Monica, and her sister. We dunked Monica when she boarded our tender for the return trip to shore.

Pigs are ubiquitous.

Chris seems excited by the fresh baked bread we found in the main village. It was sold from a tiny house that was incredibly hard to find.

Picnic lunch on the beach with the good folks from'Long Shot II' - Sue, Saylor,  Riley, and Charlie (behind).

Hiking to Tafahi - actually across the mouth of a channel as Tafahi is 5 miles away across deep water.

Check out the amazing shell we found.

Woman and child gather up pandanus leaves that had been soaking on the tidal flats. 

Mormon elders Jenkins and Muffe

Kids in Falehau jump for Rani

Cruiser enjoy a traditional dinner hosted by Sia and Nico.

Sia prepares a small pig - the head has already been given to one of the Tongan guests

Traditional outrigger dug-out canoe

Drying kava roots - the drug of choice for any occasion of importance. It is grown on the sides of the nearby volcanic island and then dried and pounded into a powder prior to soaking it to make kava.

Mormon elders hanging out with a friend. The local thatched buildings are almost all gone after the last tsunami went through these islands.

We were fortunate to witness an inter-village rugby tournament, won by 'our' village of Falehau

The Tongans are very religious, beginning each match with prayers.

Chris playing his own verison of rugby with local kids

Chris's team

New village of Falehau located uphill and away from Tsunami prone low lands.

Kids in the elementary school show us their Spam tin ukes.

Weaving pandanus mats. This is done in groups and can take several days to complete a large mat between several women. Notice the empty can of spam that was lunch!

Pictures from the reefs

We are finally back within range of an internet connection - the first one since Samoa that will allow us to post some pictures from Tonga and before. These pictures were provided by our friends on 'Gato Go' and date from Fakarava and on to a pic from 'Legacy' which was taken at the 'Coral Wonder' in Vava'u

Sharks at Fakarava South (photo courtesy Craig and Bruce of  'S/V Gato Go')

Sharks at Fakarava South (photo courtesy Craig and Bruce of  'S/V Gato Go')

I think this is called a pillow star - Photo courtesy of Rich off 'S/V Legacy'

Clam in coral - (photo courtesy Craig and Bruce of  'S/V Gato Go')

The 'Aquarium' at Fakarava South (photo courtesy Craig and Bruce of  'S/V Gato Go')

Giant Napoleon Wrasse (photo courtesy Craig and Bruce of  'S/V Gato Go')

Needle Fish (photo courtesy Craig and Bruce of  'S/V Gato Go')