We just arrived in Vanuatu (August 17th), but we needed to update the blog for the past few weeks of activity so bear with us. Last we wrote (Sometime in July) we were looking forward to Tash and Patti coming to visit and were feeling a bit annoyed over all the inconveniences of paddling without an outboard and having steering fluid leaking about and an electric autopilot that finally bit the dust.
HOWEVER, we are doing much better and everything is working in our favor these days and we are loving life 100% rather than 96% like that last blog post seemed to insinuate.
Tash and Patti arrived on July 22nd and we enjoyed having them onboard because we went new places and were on the move rather than chilling out in the same anchorage for many days or being on a town mooring for multiple days trying to sort our outboard situation. Unfortunately, our outboard situation was only sorted miraculously towards the end of Tash and Patti’s trip and we got a brand new 5hp mercury for super cheap…amazing I know. We liked to paddle everywhere by then although the paddling wasn’t conducive to Andy’s kiteboarding necessities. Tash and Patti were also able to deliver our new autopilot motor which is working beautifully!
The first day that Tash and Patti arrived, we went for a swim into swallow’s cave and even saw 2 whales on our way.
We anchored for the night near the island of Nuku and went over for drinks on our friends’ catamaran Halo after some snorkeling. Over the next week we snorkeled at Coral Gardens and swam under a meter wide overhang into Mariner’s Cave. Both were incredible, but the gopro didn’t take good photos because we tested out the red lens and it made everything dark and bloody looking. We spent a few hours down the south of Honga in an area named “blue lagoon” which turned rolly and crazy after a few hours when the tide came up so we anchored in a different area for the night. Andy was able to get a lot of kiteboarding in off the island of Mounu and even tried to teach me some more, but I am not yet able to incorporate the board as I’m still trying to wield the kite appropriately.
Tash, Patti and I went whale watching one day and it was ok, but very windy and choppy so Tash and Patti went again the next day and had a better experience. Of course we went to our favorite restaurant, Aquarium a few times and then it was sadly time for Patti to leave and then Tash departed a few days later.
After dropping Tash off to catch a taxi to the airport, we made our way around to tie up alongside Halo and clear out of Tongan customs on August 1st, get our duty free fuel and prepare for our departure to Wallis on August 2nd.
We had a bit of a bumpy passage up to Wallis which started out by momentarily catching a massive marlin with our brand new, sparkly pink lure…which we promptly lost along with 30m? of high grade fishing line. At least the line snapped and the rod remained on the boat. It was quite the spectacle of jumping and flipping for oh about…5 mins. Overall, we had an amazing 2 months in Tonga and would recommend visiting to anyone. We especially liked the restaurants, Aquarium for amazing food and margaritas as well as Tropicana for anything and everything someone one a boat would need like lpg, book exchange, laundry courtesy flags and the BEST cheese and ham toastie on the best brown bread.
Stay tuned Wallis and passage to Vanuatu post next…
Boat life is the best life,
Bre & Andy