Ha'afeva Island, Ha'apai Group, Tonga - with photos
With southerly winds forecast for the next few days, it was the ideal opportunity to visit Ha’afeva Island and this island certainly did not disappoint.
Once we’d dropped anchor we decided to venture ashore in the dinghy and were not even half way to the jetty before our welcoming committee, in the form of children on bicycles, was lining up to show us the way to their village. After some initial greetings we all set off and we were amused to see the children stop periodically, look back and wait for us to catch up.
After a short walk across the island we came to the perimeter fence of the village, the purpose of which is to protect the crops from being eaten by the numerous pigs which roam freely through the village eating everything in their path. It being a Saturday afternoon, the village was typically Tongan with not much activity going on and any shops were long since closed. However friendlier people we have yet to find. Everyone had a smile and a greeting for us and in particular the children ran up to say ‘hello’.
Life on the island is very simple; power is available for only a few hours in the evening, the islanders grow or catch most of their food and seem to get by on very little indeed. But with a couple of churches and schools and a small medical centre they appear to be extremely contented.
Back on the boat, enjoying a sundowner in the cockpit, we were thrilled to spot a humpback whale putting on quite a display. We enjoyed watching its performance through the binoculars as it was a fair distance off, but we did manage to get a shot on our camera. What a fantastic end to a memorable day.
Underwater photos from the nearby reef:
Yes, it’s definitely a humpback… :