Our sail from the Ha'apai islands to Vavau was dotted with whale encounters, many quite close. The northern islands appeared eventually and have a very different aspect to the low lying Sandy reefs further south. Thickly wooded mushroom islands with undercut cliffs and hardly a beach or reef anywhere. However we found obe lovely spot and anchored in a blue lagoon and enjoyed an unusually sunny day. We were invited ashore to the Blue Lagoon restaurant to partake in freshly caught red snapper with local spinach, pele, in coconut cream. The resort has 3 or 4 brightly painted cottages built out of the cliff and supported on tall spindly legs over the Blue Lagoon. The resort isnt yet open, but chef Otto made us very welcome and regaled us with stories and photos of swimming with humpbacks in the lagoon.
That night the heavens opened and it rained hard for 30 hours. We motored up to the main port of Neiafu in lousy visibility with steep wooded banks either side rather like the River Dart on a wet day accentuated by lots ofbyachts on moorings. I had to bucket 120 gallons of rainwater out of the dinghy before going ashore to deal with Customs and Port Authority.
Later we were surprised to spot another OVNI 455CC motor in and I recognised Alita. I had corresponded with Marcus in New Zealand when we first acquired Tin Tin, and so we enjoyed exchanging visits to compare notes. He and Michaela have made Alita immaculate as their cruising home.
That night we succumbed to Mango, the nearest cafe to our mooring, and warmed up with hot food and bright lights. Tomorrow we clear out for a 3 day sail to Fiji.