Leaving Tonga

Bill and Caroline
Sun 15 Sep 2013 21:54
The extended stay in Apataki means less time elsewhere, so most is made of the time in the beautiful islands of Tonga. The Moorings charter company operates out of Tonga and the charts are used by most cruisers it seems - to make things easier all the anchorages have a number rather than a name - so the fist photo is of islands between  anchorages 21 and 11.There is sense in the strange system as names of the anchorages are difficult to pronounce, often spelt in numerous ways and the names are sometimes completely different on different electronic charts, so maybe numbers are the best way to go even if not very romantic….

Wandering along the beache at low tide (No. _), finding where the Tongan Royal's grave stones come from (maybe??) and purple/blue starfish lie stranded alongside unpleasant looking but colour co-ordinated jelly fish. 
Some beaches (No. 8) are beautiful little sand bars with velvety purple starfish on the reefs and confetti-like fish swirling below and 'Nemo's cousins' hiding in the huge sea urchins. Our first sight of the infamous crown of thorns starfish, and questions about the impact on the reef and the diversity of its fish.
Not to mention the most amazing sunset the last evening in Tonga before we finally leave for Fiji late the next day and are fortunate to see humpback whales spouting and breaching in the distance.