Vaka’ Litu Island
07 October 2012 | Vaka' Litu Island, Vavau Group, Tonga
Weve been here, anchored off of an uninhabited island, Vaka Litu for a week now. The anchorage is protected from wind waves, swells and a bit of the wind. We have been enjoying very calm nights of sleep with very little movement. We are surrounded by island walls, a few golden sand beaches, the Coral Gardens, and about 5 other little islands, all within a dinghy ride away.
Our first few days here, we had the all day rains, with brief periods of no rain. One afternoon, when we were the only boat anchored here and the rain had stopped, we ventured to the beach and walked around for a while. Shortly afterwards, another boat entered the bay and anchored. I only mention this because as we were dinghying back to Tanga, we look over, and the guy is stark naked, standing at the bow of the boat, washing himself!! The next day, (still raining nonstop) while I was making breakfast, we hear someone singing. I pop my head out of the companion way and see our naked guy neighbor, standing in the cockpit (clothed), singing The sun will come out tomorrow, waving his arms and giving it his all. He actually sounded good and it gave us a giggle. Later that day, when the rain stopped, he came by and introduced himself. Tom and Danielle, from Jackson Hole Wyoming, are spending their honeymoon sailing around Tonga. The other Tom said that his singing was his way of asking the rain gods to stop. We decided to invite them over for dinner that night and help celebrate their honeymoon. Once the evening approached, Tom decided to go hunt and gather, aka, fish for some dinner. caught 2 Coral Cods which I fried up as an appetizer; the fish werent that meaty but very tasty. We had a great time with Danielle and Tom, and we waved good bye to them the following day.
The rest of our days here have been less rainy, more sunshine and weve been able to enjoy the great snorkeling at Coral Gardens and beach time for me. The last time we snorkeled Coral Gardens, we were on the other side of the surf, meaning the good side of the coral. Being inside the bay now, we had to swim over shallow water with coral heads, watch that we dont get to close to the coral and get scraped, and through the swell and breaking waves, to get over to the beautiful area of the Coral Gardens. Once over, the view is just beautiful. The coral area is quite large, with lots of different colored coral and plenty of reef fish. The farther out you go, the more the shelf drops off to deep water. We kept our eyes out for pelagic fish, but never did see any.
We also have been enjoying fishing every day. We often trail a line in the water and dingy around the different islands and we now know the hot spots for getting bites. Also, if I call for a beach day, Tom will bring along his rod and fish while I soak up the sun. We found this wonderful secluded beach that is tiny but perfect for two people. We have seen 3 baby black tip reef sharks here and Tom caught a Trevally and a Coral Cod at this tiny beach area. Another time, when we were dinghying around and I had the line in the water, I caught my very first fish, a barracuda!! He was about 16 inches long with ½ inch long teeth. We let him go because barracudas are known to be very bony. Today, since it was cloudy and we werent in the mood to swim, we decided to go fishing again. In the dinghy and line in water, I had another fish on the hook. This one fought pretty hard with me, to the point I handed the rod over to Tom. Unfortunately, the line broke and the fish was gone. Urg!!! I really wanted to know what was putting on such a good fight and has made my upper arm and shoulder achy!
Saturday night, we experienced a true Tongan Feast on the island of Lape. Every Saturday evening, this tiny village hosts a feast at no charge, they only ask for a donation. When we arrived, by our dinghy, we were immediately greeted by Cleo and given flower leis. Cleo told us about his village; population 32, 16 adults and 16 children. Also 3 visiting adults consisting of 2 teachers and a minister. We walked the village which was really about 5 houses, a church and school. He also stated that all the houses are getting flushing toilets and solar panels, all by the donations from the feasts that are held. The feast itself, is definitely a community event, everyone in the village participates and contributes. It began with the entire village singing, very harmonic with no instruments, followed by a prayer. Wasting no time, the feast began. The food consisted of a roasted pig, deep fried fish, several different types of salads and drinking coconut water straight from a coconut. This particular Saturday evening feast was the most people the island has ever had at their feast with 94 people attending. They had plenty of food for everyone and a few people had second helpings (the food was very good).
Our time is winding down here at Vaka Litu Island. We will be heading to another anchorage off of Pangaimotu island within the next day or two and then back to the main town of Neifu to run some errands.
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