Our friends, Chuck and Lauri on Free Spirit, had to leave Tonga for Samoa for their “official” wedding (they have had wonderful unofficial weddings in Mexico and Tonga). We had spent a lot of time with them here in Tonga and were sad to see them go. We’ll have to meet up with them in 2016!
We wanted to explore the eastern barrier reef islands of the Vava’u group. It is necessary to navigate a narrow channel in the coral to get over there, so few boats head that way. We had waypoints to navigate through the channel and our friends, Alison and Randall on Tregoning, had radioed to say they were already anchored in that area and the pass was no problem, so off we went.
We anchored at Ofu, near Tregoning, later that afternoon. After spending time in the main harbor and the popular anchorages near town, it was a treat to be anchored in a quieter place. We explored the quiet island and the isolated shores. The next morning we went exploring in our dinghy, “Tubby” along with Alison and Randall in their dinghy.
Along the way, we discovered a good sized colony of Flying Foxes (a large, tropical fruit bat). We had already seen one small Flying Fox up close back on Ha’afeva in the Ha’apai group, but this was much better. There were several trees just full of the bats hanging there. As we got close, the noise from the dinghy motors bothered them and dozens of them took to the skies. It was so impressive that after some snorkeling we went back to Good as Gold, got out the good camera, and went back to the bats for some photos.
|Flying Foxes hanging in trees|
|Flying Fox soaring|
|Flying Fox mother with baby clinging on to her belly|
|Flying Fox coming in for a landing|
Alison and Randall began their southward trek to New Zealand and we moved over to one of the easternmost islands of the Vava’u group, Kenutu. We anchored on the west side to be protected from the near constant easterly trade winds. We went ashore and found the path to the eastern side of the island to watch the open ocean crashing on the cliff faces. It was quiet impressive!