Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga
17 October 2012 | Nuku'alofa, Tongatapu, Tonga
On Tuesday morning, we set our alarm for 5:00am so we could have an early morning departure from Neaifu Harbor in Vavau. We only had a few remaining things to take care of aboard Tanga, and we motored out of the harbor at 6:30am, with blue skies and the warm sun shining on us.
This is what happens when we do not announce to Neptune that we are leaving. Our sail on Tuesday is now considered our best sailing day ever. Tom said this is what sailboats were invented for! I say that this is the type of sailing I always pictured from the sailing brochure aka Toms sales speech he gave me back in the decision times to go sailing around the world. The perfect and wonderful sailing conditions we are talking about are not related to fastest speed or most miles made, it is all about the blue sunny skies, a nice 15 knot wind from the east which allowed us to sail on a beam reach and is Tangas favorite point of sail, and 3-6 foot comfortable seas. It was a very relaxing, peaceful and beautiful sail. And since the conditions were so nice, we decided to sail with all the sails up; main, mizzen and jib. Tanga probably looked very picturesque with all her sails open and full.
When the sun came up on Wednesday, we saw beautiful skies to the north and very rainy grey skies to the south. Unfortunately, we were heading south to the ugly skies. We had on and off rain in the morning and just grey skies all afternoon. When we were weaving our way through the coral reefs while approaching Nukualofa, the rain began again and continued well after we were anchored, had dinner, and relaxed. Nukualofa is on the island of Tongatapu and is the capital of Tonga and the seat of the government, as well as being the location of the Royal Palace. The population is approximately 30,000, by far the largest in the Kingdom. The island looks completely different than the Vavau Islands which had hills, some small mountains and cliffs. Tongatapu is a very flat coralline island, like an atoll. If you use the Google map, you will see that we are anchored off an island called Pangaimotu, which is just across from Nukualofa. Pangaimotu is lined with golden sand beaches, with a beach side restaurant, and there is a coral reef very near to us so we plan on doing a lot of swimming, snorkeling and fishing while we are here. This is our last stop in Tonga and is our jumping point to head to New Zealand. From this point on, we will be watching, analyzing, and studying the weather, waiting for a weather window to head to New Zealand. But for the meantime, we still on island time mon!
Trip stats: Total distance: 176 miles Average speed: 5.2 knots Fastest speed: 9.2 knots Trip length: 34 hours
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