Hunga Island, Vava'u, Tonga 18:41:33S 174:07:88W.....& on to Fiji
On the 21st June we departed Neiafu and headed
The Pass out of Hunga Lagoon. Note the large rock to starboard.
The Pass is around one boat length wide and is not at all obvious until you are pasted it coming from the North. The Moorings pilot is in fact very helpful and accurate, as are the C-Map electronic charts.
On the way there from Neiafu we were in fact staying on
On the way there I spotted two Humpback Whales. Sadly they were too far away to photograph, but the sight of them breaching was something to behold!!
Meanwhile back in the lagoon. The base for the party was to
be the Ika Lahi International Game Fishing Lodge. This is run by Steve and
Caroline Campbell, who hail from
Steve & Caroline taking a rare moments rest bite
Steve and Caroline are passionate Big Game Fisher persons (???). When Steve sold his Medical publishing business (aged 43) he decided that rather than just retire and trot around the globe seeking out big game fish. They would try to set up a business where he could entertain like minded souls in the joys of big game fishing…with some comfort. So they spent 4 years (seasons) looking for the ideal spot. When they found what is now their Game lodge and guest cottages, it was just a semi-derelict bar. The only thing that is left of the original building on the lodge is the centre tree trunk that holds up the roof!!
The Lodge adjacent to the sandy beach, with one of Steve’s boats moored outside.
Having secured a 50 year lease on the plot they set about
rebuilding the man centre, which is a Restaurant, and Bar a lounge and a
hi-tech, open plan kitchen, complete with TV lounge, and terraces. They also
shipped five Cyclone proof cottages from
This is apparently one of the four best places in the world to go Bill Fish hunting. Their policy is to return every thing (Game Fish that is) they catch, unless it is damaged or dead once caught. Their biggest Marlin to date was a staggering 837 kilos!!
They provide several moorings outside the lodge, and so we
were five boats and 17 people. Caroline was informed on the Saturday lunch time
we wanted to have a dinner party for 17….in addition to the other guests,
on Sunday afternoon. She was willing to do this but did not have enough food in
stock, and all the shops were closed on Saturday afternoon, and every thing is
closed on Sundays in this deeply religious country. So the call went out and
the radio to all the BWR boats in the area to bring what ever potatoes, carrots,
greens, milk, flower etc that we could spare. As we had been warned that most
fresh produce would be confiscated when we arrived in
Caroline provided a menu with a choice of two starters, Mains and puddings. Naturally we had fish Chowder to start and Mahi Mahi for main. (This was just wonderful and we ensured we have the recipe). WE then had chilly chocolate cake for pudding. Simply divine………….As this was a birthday party for Andy and part of the BWR needless to say we took this very seriously and the bar was duly worked VERY hard.
Cheers Andy….Happy 45th….great party…thank you
The next morning brought a beautiful sunny, balmy day. So we
jumped in the dinghy and mooched around the lagoon. At the southern end there
are a lot of Ironwood trees just trailing their branches in the water and loads
of small Finches and Warblers darting about the trees and scrub. It was a joy
to hear bird song. Something we have really missed from
This totally under developed
So it was, with a heavy heart, we departed Hunga and Vava’u
on the 23rd June for Savusavu in