Posted by: asolare | 09/06/2010

Niue to Tonga

After a fast lively reach south west from Suworrow to Niue the Asolare crew spent four days enjoying the hospitality of the locals and the superb diving. The visibility is extraordinary due to the remoteness of the island and the lack of silt run off the porous limestone cliffs which also provide fantastic caves and underwater landscapes to explore. There is a sensation of flying when swimming off a steep drop off and a huge population of sea snakes swimming to and from the surface or curling up in groups in the gullies. Lobsters or crabs were found in every crack we shone out torches into in some caves.

We had a great time ashore too despite spending a large proportion of our time queuing at the bank with a yacht club BBQ, a Niuen feast at the opening night of a local restaurant and an interesting tour of the island but eventually dragged ourselves away towards Tonga.

The sail was a gentle spinnaker run under a southern upside-down moon and arriving in the evening too late to navigate in among the Vava’u reefs we anchored for the night in an idyllic spot behind a deserted outer island. Expecting to have the place to ourselves at sunrise we were surprised to emerge on deck to find two boat loads of Tongans walking on the reef harvesting sea cucumbers to sell. Now on a mooring in the landlocked Port Refuge we have had the opportunity to sample this revolting looking creature at a Tongan feast (no meals in this part of the world, they are all feasts!) and found it to be rather like pulpo or octopus.

Asolare will be saying goodbye to World ARC and staying on for a while in Tonga so we are enjoying some good times with the other crews before they sail on. We will now spend some time exploring Vava’u and other parts of Tonga.

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