Pangai, Lifuka Island, Ha'apai Group, Tonga
The anchorage at Foa island was very protected and there was little swell, so we spent our time exploring the various reefs around the bay and enjoyed some great snorkelling, seeing both beautiful fish and coral. Although the sun was very hot the water was decidedly chilly, so we wore our wetsuits to maximise our time in the water.
After spending 3 relaxing days we moved on to the next island of Lifuka and anchored off the village of Holopeka, not far from Muikuku Point. Captain Cook anchored here on his three visits to the Ha’apai islands and it was also the anchorage where the privateer Port au Prince was attacked and burned in 1806, leading to a famous account of Tongan life by William Mariner, a 14 year old clerk who was spared.
A mile further south from our anchorage is the village of Pangai, the administrative centre of the Ha’apai Group, so we went down in the dinghy to check the place out. In need of some exercise, we had a good walk round the village with its mostly dirt roads and friendly locals and stopped off at the Mariner’s Café for some lunch. There are still signs of the devastation wreaked by a storm last year and although the village was far from pristine, it has a unique charm and gave us an insight in to the real Tonga.