Tonga Revisited

Returning to Tonga... Our first visit to Nu'ukalofa, the capital of Tonga. Wet & wild weather over the last few hundred miles made the landfall memorable. A gale had been blowing over the waters south of Tonga for weeks -- and the waves were big & breaking.

We enjoyed a week at Pangaimotu near Nu'ukalofa, before overnighting to Neiafu in the Vava'u group. We left Kiapa on a secure Beluga Dive mooring while we flew to OHIO for the Comfort birthdays and family reunion. Flying to/from Neiafu was a hoot -- with airline strikes, strict weight limits, funny old scales for baggage and passengers, and a few full-figured Tongan women. We enjoyed some of the 'skinny' waters on the west side of the Vava'u group before pushing on to Apia, Samoa to meet 'the boys'.

Samoa -- Upolu and Savai'i
Samoa is often referred to as the most authentic Polynesian paradise. We certainly won't argue with that. We enjoyed a long stay that included the Teuila Festival... and a visit from 'the boys'.  Most boats stay in Apia, which is a mistake.  There are beautiful fair weather anchorages around Savai, which shouldn't be missed.  Also, there are some very pretty spots around Upolu that allow for swimming & water-making in good weather.

Fanning Island

2+ weeks at Tabueran (Fanning Island) in the Kiribati Island Group went all too fast.  We enjoyed the atoll with 'host' Chuck from Island Trader and the crews of Sisutl and Poet's Place.  At about 4 N, Tabueran is free from hurricanes, and lies just south of the ITCZ (most of the year).  Pass "dives" were fun & refreshing.  Bike rides on 'loaners' from the Cruise Ship Company were a hoot.  The 'land crabs' were plentiful & delicious.  The locals were cautious, but friendly... and trading for mats rewarding.