19:48.13S 174:21.57W Lifuka Island
Pangai, Lifuka Island, Monday August 14
We stayed a few days on Tongatapu. The town of Nuku´alofa is maybe not the prettiest in Tonga but offers all kind of services and the people are extremely helpful and friendly. We hired a car and toured around the Island and visited some of the historical sites. Captain Cooks landing site and the Blowholes where the waves created huge spray of water through holes in the rocks were the most interesting.
Ann arrived from Sweden and Samantha left us. On Friday we set sail and sailed northwards the 52 miles to Nomuka Island. The weather had unfortunately changed to the worse with clouds and wind strengths around 20 knots (10m/s). So we decided to wait with the whale swimming until we get to Vavau. But we saw many Humpback whales close by the boat on the way to Nomuka.
On Nomuka Iti ( little Nomuka) we met Don Mc Intyre, an Australian who lives on his yacht there. He is a real enthusiast and is building a Marine research station and a Yacht Club on this little island with the help of volunteers. We were presented with a flag from Nomuka Yacht Club and became the 5th members of this exclusive Royal club, sanctioned by the Crown Prince of Tonga.
On Sunday we left Nomuka. We sailed northwards again and had a real “dream sailing day”. Sunshine and 20 knots of wind. We sailed behind the large reef totally sheltered from the ocean swell and did 9 knots in the fresh breeze. There were Humpback whales around us most of the 35 Nm up to Lifuka. Some were as close as 50 m from the boat. It is spectacular when these big creatures shoot up through the water and jump up just ahead of us. But when we get real close they dive and disappear for a little while. We tried to catch them with the camera when jumping but unfortunately missed them.
We will now explore the village of Pangai. Next stop will be Vavau where we plan to be on Thursday 17th.
Regards from the Lisanne crew, Ann, Eric and Mike.