Ovalau Island, Vava'u, Tonga

Fri 3 Oct 2014 20:38
18:45.002S 174:04.851W

Tapana was a beautifully sheltered anchorage - perhaps too sheltered. The Tropical Convergence Zone had shifted South, bringing hot moist air down with it. At 100% humidity the prickly heat was starting to set in so we sailed over to Ovalau, the little breeze very welcome, to spend the day there waiting to set off in the evening. The plan was to have a slow passage South, leaving with the last of the light whilst we got clear of the reefs and islands of Vaav'u, and arriving with first light to navigate the reefs and islands of Ha'apai.

We wished we'd come there earlier! It was so beautiful: lovely and protected, without being too hot; a fascinating reef to snorkel on leading to a curve of perfect sandy beach (with goats wondering on it); around the South end a flat shelf of coral overhung by big shady trees which led down to the wave cut cliffs where herons fished; and last but not least, there was a huge coral bommie in the anchorage, over 35 feet high and about 100 ft across with so much marvelous fish life on it.

There were loads of fish I'd not seen before - I need to spend time with the fish book seeking them out, my favourite were the ones who had clearly decided that eyebrows were the fashion this year - they had penciled them in with gold sparkly eye liner! They even had a new kind of star fish - bright blue and all arms no body.

Apart from a motor yacht that came and anchored for an hour or two we had the place to ourselves and spent the day snorkeling or wondering on the island, which we could comfortably swim to from the boat, interspersed with sitting on deck watching the whales swim by along the channel.

Rather a good job the wind had died the day before, or we would have completely missed another slice of paradise.

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