Vava'u, Tonga. Parties, Dinghy Racing, Feasts and beach BarBQ's - Continued 16:57:91S 179:23:01E

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Wed 25 Jun 2008 16:22

One of the things we enjoyed whilst in Tonga were the Sunsets. Because it was so cloudy, they most certainly can be spectacular.



Meanwhile back at Ano Beach, for the feast.


This was to be similar in some ways to the feasts we enjoyed in the Marquasas. A pit is dug a fire lit and stones placed over the embers. Then the food is wrapped in Banana leaves placed on the stones, then the whole thing is covered up…in this case with soil. The suckling pig however was slow cooked on a spit over a fire…….not for the vegetations I can tell you!



Rather worryingly, this is left to cool once cooked and then re-heated later to join all the other delicacies…………..


The evening started off with us bringing our own drinks ashore and listening to the local band and then being entertained by the kids from the local school who put on a splendid set of dance routines adorned in their  stunning costumes



The local dancers doing their thing……note the collection basket out front! The costumes were of the local style, and were very ornate and elegant.





Not to be outdone, the “girls” from the BWR dance troupe also got stuck in to make the most out of the festive mood.




This was very much a family affair. The chap below has nine children. All of whom were there that evening, and each had a role to play. Mum was the organiser and the master cook.


  Meet the family. Three of the nine children belonging to “Dad”.(Original picture by Jennie Kerr!!!!!!)


It has to be said that Tongan Feasts may be a gastronomic delight to Tongan’s but it most definitely did not cut it for me or for most of the Ralliers. So the locals had their own feast…..on what we left over!  All in all it was a great day.



The next morning we sailed the short distance to our next BWR event. The beach BarBQ.


  Nuku Islet of Kapa Island with Heidenskip sailing past on the other side.


This was to be held on the Moorings anchorage number 8. This is adjacent to the Island of Kapa. As you can see from the picture above, it was a beautiful setting and the sun finally came out for us… hip hip hooray!!!!!!


Anchoring here is VERY tricky.


  “I know its down here somewhere???”


It is basically a reef. You drop the anchor in 9m of water and then drop your chain whilst very gently motoring backwards. 99 times out of 100 our ground tackle works first time. Here it was just not right. Having dropped the anchor with over 50 metres of chain we were now in 27 metres of water under the keel. So we let out another 25m chain. Still not right!! So the reef shelves very steeply and was causing us problems. We were not happy with the “feel” of the anchor so I went over the side to snorkel over the anchor. It was not brilliant visibility, but I dove down to 5 metres and could see that the anchor and chain were in a real mess. So back to the boat and get the scuba kit out. This is what is called a MiniB system. So it is a relatively small air tank designed for simple relatively shallow dives, for short periods.  In the event I was down at 25m, wrestling with a 25 Kilo anchor and 10mm chain, on a 45 degrees slope. I managed to unfankle the chain  from around the anchor fluke and then find a patch of sand in which to bury the anchor point. It seems that when we dropped the anchor, it just slid down the incline whilst the chain wrapped itself around the coral heads. By the time I had finished all of this I had just enough air left to do my decompression stop before surfacing. Quite astonishing how fast you get through your air at 25 metres depth of water when you are doing heavy physical work.


The BarBQ was frankly a huge disappointment. A cater had been employed to provide a cold plate of sausage, egg and some other indescribable items, all on a paper plate and wrapped in cling film. So it was very soggy. No sign of a BarBQ fire and all the fun that goes with it. Next time I will make sure we bring our own grub and the pyromaniacs toys to make for a fun day……


After a few drinks and a good chat with everyone, we collected Bob & Phyllis and returned to Neiafu harbour so they could be available first thing on Monday morning to start chasing up the urgently needed spare parts.  We also needed a Dive shop to get the air bottle refilled and also to buy some spare O rings for the tank and the hoses.


Well that is enough for now. Two more episodes on Tonga to come. I will endeavour to get them done tomorrow. WE are now some 20 Nm from the Copra Shed Marina in Savusavu, on Vanua Levu, Fiji. Its 0500 in the morning and we have around 15 yachts all attempting to enter the marina at first light. It will be bedlam…………..


Hey Ho, al the problems of having FUN! But it has been a brilliant passage, sun and plenty of wind…and no rain.