Vava'u part 3

Lars Alfredson
Sun 19 May 2013 06:57

20130517 Friday Caves


Doug and Fon join us and he’s acting as our guide to find Mariners Cave as well as various snorkelling location and beaches.

On the way we stop at Swallow Cave. Leaving Grete to drive the boat in slow circles (It’s too deep to anchor) we jump in the dinghy

and motor across and then though the narrow entrance into the large limestone cave. There’s a hole in the top letting in light which illuminates its crystal clear waters.


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                                              Swallows cave



                                        Grete is waiting on the outside.


We continue on to around the island and start searching for the entrance to Mariners cave which is underwater though marked by striations

in the rock above. After several unsuccessful attempts he finally calls up a friend who gives the GPS coordinates that send us back on our track to where we spot the dark patch in the water indicating the entrance.


In we jump and swim over and those with more nerve than I swim under the ledge and upward into the cave interior lit only by illuminated waters of that passage.


The stories of both Mariner and the cave are fantastic. He was aboard the Port Au Prince when she put into Tonga in December 1806 seeking help.

But the Tongan king Finau attacked the ship killing half the crew and enslaving the rest ending the voyage in disaster and death.


But for one young Englishman 15 year old William Mariner a new adventure began when the king adopted him and gives him the name of dead son.

For the rest check out a book called “Toki”by Brian Crawford.


Regarding the cave, the story has it that and young Tongan hid his sweetheart in there and a few days later sailed past picked her up and eloped.


We visited some nice beaches included on belonging to a house Doug had built. We landed to view it and picked a heap of fruit from the grounds that keep the G&T’s going for a month.


20130518 Saturday  


The market is heaving. The church choirs and soloist are entertaining; everybody’s in party mode and the streets a choc a bloc with cars and people, all part of the build up to father’s day.


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                              Local entertainment                                                                                         Local ladies at the market.      


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                    Beautiful Tongan girls                                                                                                    Fire and brimstone


We’re partying too as we have Doug, Fona and three of her eleven children plus a friend coming out with us. We order Pizzas last night

for lunch and have to pick them up and I have to find a new set of Fins as the made in Chinese things purchased just before I left the UK have split.


Not a hope, then someone suggest I try the snorkel kit hire shop in the Coconet Café. Negotiating Charlie the pig I gain entrance. I later find he’s trying to sell the business so although he

appeared reluctant to part with a well used set, 80Pa’angas/£25 appeared to do the trick.


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                      Charlie the guard pig.


We pick up our guests and we’re off to an island about 7nm away with beautiful sandy beach and a large reef edging a deep channel which the Whales use when they come here to raise their young.


On the way we have a little breeze so we roll out the headsail to give us a knot or two on top of the engine speed. Overhead Doug points out

a fruit bat flying between the islands. It looks like and is about the same size a crow with large black wings.



                                      Our new figureheads.


The island has a small resort run by a New Zealander who started the whale watching business in Tonga some 14 years ago.

After delivering everybody to the beach the snorkel crew swim out to the reef. Although quite shallow on top the channel side drops sharply

into deep blue waters. Most of the fish seem to be in amongst top of the coral which is fortunate as the light is much better for the camera.


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                        Muona Island resort                                                                                Back for lunch


Returning, we have beer at the bar and then back to the boat for lunch. Needless to say the Pizzas are a hit with the kids and adults alike.

Doug’s got his rum on the go and we have plenty of limes and tangerines for him to squeeze into it.


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                        Everybody loves pizza                                                                                           Grete with the girls. 



Fred and I dine on Lobster this evening, fabulous, while Blackened Tuna is on the menu for the other. Also in the restaurant are the Aussies off two boats that came in during the week and we engage in some good banter.


Fred takes Grete back to the boat and returns later to pick us up. As we board the dinghy he decides to swim back to boat confident “Its to shallow for sharks” says he.

Lars at the helm makes a sudden detour to the Aussie boat and we’re invited aboard.


Several large Glenfiddich’s later return to base.



20130519 Sunday – thou shalt not labour


A lazy day for some! I’m blogging away trying to catch up. We take the boat into one the docks to take on water.

While were at it we wash down the decks to remove sand dirty foot prints as well as bird poo. We spray ourselves as well while were at it.

Its one way to get cool as the sun is baking us in a cloudless sky. In the background we can hear the church congregation singing away and cockerels crowing as they have been since 2am.


When we come to pay we advised we shouldn’t have done any of the above as it’s Sunday and absolutely no work can be done,

in fact at one stage they would arrest people for swimming on a Sunday. A pox on those missionaries.


That done were back on the mooring and just got to sort out some pictures to go with the blog, another four hours then! Ah well happy hour soon.


Bob the Blog