Named the “friendly islands” by James Cook in 1773, the Kingdom of Tonga consists of 176 islands of which 40 are inhabited. The islands in the Vava’u group are raised and mountainous coral islands where some of the other islands are more low-lying and many are of volcanic origin.
After 5 days of seeing nothing but grey sky with frequent drizzle, the sun finally comes out on Sunday. And how different this place looks! We have been in Neiafu, the capital of the Vava’u island group, since Tuesday. There are many yachts in this extremely quiet and well-protected anchorage making the most of the restaurants, bars and shops while waiting for a good weather window to head over to New Zealand. Seathan even manages to watch the rugby game live this morning (at 4AM) in a local bar.
We catch up with friends we haven’t seen since Tahiti including a couple of kid boats. Neifau is “yachtie-friendly” and the locals even run a cruisers’ net every morning on the radio with announcements, weather info, local business promotion, etc. It feels a bit like we are back in the Prickly Bay… We don’t want to stay here any longer than necessary (especially now that the rugby is over for us) so today we’re heading out to explore the nearby islands, do some swimming and snorkeling and enjoy the sunshine!