The Tohotaea pass was easily entered between two small wooded islands, and we quickly came to anchor in the lee of one in pale blue water, rippling with electric green in the sunlight. Emily and Julian prepared a lovely lunch during which we became aware of a riotous and hilarious party going on near the island. A floating thatched hut on a traditional looking Polynesian barge was the centre of fun, and through binoculars we could see that it was surrounded by groups of people up to their waists in the clear water, the women wearing floral crowns and the men hats woven from green palm leaves. The party went on till sunset, and we were astonished at the constant infectious laughter emanating in great roars and shrieks from the party goers who were all happily drinking away. Later I rowed over and chatted to a man with a water taxi, who told me that renting a floating hut for a party was very reasonable, and that you could get one all day for just $750, asserting that his son often hired one to entertain friends! I don't know of that included food and drink though.
We spent a lazy afternoon snorkelling in the clear cold water coming through the pass, where the coral looked very healthy and vast numbers of fish filled the sea like flocks of birds in a blue sky. Then the sun set and peace returned as the moon rose.