position S019 44.000 W174 18.000

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Fri 12 Oct 2018 09:49
Friday 12 Oct.   Ha'apai Islands Tonga.

We have moved about 50 yards since yesterday, to reset the anchor which must have dragged and was caught on some coral.

The anchorage is off a small village on the island of Foa and we dinghied over this morning just as the primary school kids were loading into their classrooms. There always seem to be a disproportionate number of school children to the size of the village or town -the little town of Neiafu had numerous large schools and here the few houses would barely qualify as a village in the U.K. but support a good sized primary and also a secondary school. Either the population is exploding or there are many more houses than we are seeing.

We walked north along a bourganvilla lined lane to reach a lodge at the north point of the island. We heard about it in the Cafe yesterday from a couple from NZ with a distinct west country twang. They had grown up in Bristol before moving to NZ and are taking a weeks holiday in the Lodge. Apparently it is booked up for 3 years ahead but they picked up a cancellation last minute. Anyway the lodge has a whale spotting boat and we thought we might be able to join a trip.
Unfortunately we just missed todays trip and there are no spaces on the next couple of trips and then it is the end of the season, so it looks like we will have to rely on the whales comming to us rather than us to them. The lodge is run by a couple from Crawley and they served us coffee and eggs from their well stocked kitchen. He is a wildlife photographer in his previous life and had some impressive videos of Whales on his ipad, as well as of Leopard sharks which live in the passage between this island and the next. The couples young son runs snorkling trips to see  the sharks so we hope to join him tomorrow afternoon for a daunting Leopard shark encounter. I think (hope) they are named for their skin pattern rather than their appetite for flesh.

After a walk along the deserted beach and a swim we returned to the boat for lunch and a lazy afternoon. I took the dinghy over to the reef for a snorkel once the sun had lost its ferocity- lovely coral shapes and colourful fish. Followed up with  rum punch sundowners we are properly back in the pacific groove.