Blog 53. Kappa Island, Port Maurelle. 18.41.96S 174.01.81W

David Batten
Mon 6 Jun 2016 22:34
Monday, 6 June 2016. We spent Thursday and Friday in Nieafu, shopping in the market, which is excellent and daily, walking, renting a car and driving as much round the island as the roads allowed, visiting the botanical gardens and learning about Tongan life and traditions from the owner and visiting the viewing points, or at least the ones we could find. Time spent with other crews such as Blue Summit, Two Fish and Take Off and a crazy late night dancing and being entertained by some lady boys, led astray by Wishanger and Paradise Found. Another WARC party at the Aquarium, with great food and Tongan dancers and then everyone dancing. Sadly, no luck with the alternator, which needs a bearing and some repair to the cables, not available on the Island and maybe a new alternator is the only answer anyway, but there was no charge, which was kind, as the engineer had given it his best shot. More frustrating was dealing with Garmin, who insisted on a zip code before agreeing to dispatch a new replacement plotter, somewhat tricky as there are no zip codes here although there is a FedEx office. We are now hoping that we may be able to get one from Australia via Ian's brother, who is joining Zoom in Fiji. A definite advantage to being part of the WARC, where everyone helps everyone else in a multitude of ways.

Saturday and time to leave Nieafu for a few days for somewhere less populated and as the forecast was for increasing winds, we did the easy thing and motor sailed around to Port Maurelle, a fabulous, sheltered bay on the leeward side of Kappa Island some 6 miles away. Paradise Found was already there and Into The Blue left the same time as us to make it 3 WARC yachts as well as 2 others. Anchoring in sand and rock, not like the in the coral heads in Suwarrow, with the chain laid out in a nice line and the anchor in sand, we felt quite secure. Wishanger joined us later, showing Brian's sailing skills by beating into the bay under Genoa alone and anchoring without engine. Very nicely done. We had a great snorkel off a nice coral reef on our side of the bay, visited the Swallow Cave at the end of the island, quite stunning with the evening sun streaming in and then settled down for a quiet evening in paradise. NB the evenings are getting colder, so a hot shower is definitely a bonus!

Sunday we walked to the nearest village and listened to the singing in church and watched the kingfishers and the Flying Foxes, the latter hanging like huge fruit on a tree on the hillside above the village. The Villages were all in their Sunday best, looking very smart, clean and colourful and with the children, girls in dresses and the boys in skirts, shy in front of us but happy to be photographed. A long snorkel down the fringe reef of
Island Ava took care of the afternoon and then social half hour ( or hour or two) on Paradise Found and another day in paradise over.

Today we walked to the village on the west side of the island, much tidier and more prosperous than yesterday's. Lovely gardens and the numerous pigs more contained, with more agriculture beyond the village. Then a barbecue on the beach thanks to Into The Blue, then more snorkelling and a visit to the Mariner's Cave with Blue Summit for the Boys. Tomorrow, back to Nieafu, Skipper's briefing and preparation for next leg to Fiji.


Sent from my iPad