Seathan met Boris, Karyn and their two boys in Neiafu town last week and they invited us over for a Halloween party on their remote Tongan island. It sounded fantastic so on Friday we head out of town in that direction together with Philéas (more kids!) and sail to Nuku island where we anchor for the night and enjoy a wonderful swim, snorkel and evening on the beach with campfire and guitars.
The next morning, on Halloween, we sail to Hunga and enter the Blue Lagoon at high tide. As expected, the bay is too roley and doesn’t offer enough protection for an overnight anchorage so we turn around and make our way through the narrow pass into the very well protected Hunga Lagoon. This lagoon is completely enclosed, bar a small passage. You can only enter at high tide and even then we only have a couple of metres of water under our keel and have to watch out for the numerous coral heads close to the pass.
Soon after we are settled on a mooring Luca and Felix appear on the beach. They show us the way to their home, which is a 15-minute walk over the hill through a dense forest. Karyn is English and has organised traditional Halloween games for the kids: apple dunking, face in flour, wizards/dwarves/giants, broomstick spinning, and a treasure hunt to find the treats. The neighbours have also turned up in fancy dress costumes. Two of the local boys are dressed as natives and Aeneas thinks they are real cannibals.
It’s a great evening but there is still the walk back to the boat to be considered. It is a dark night and even though we have torches it is as scary as a Halloween night can get: imagine walking through a dark dense forest full of spiders and strange noises, huge bats flying over your head and creepy crawlies under your feet… We make it to the boat and happily put our heads down on our pillows.
Philéas leave the next morning and another boat turns up: our Belgian friends on Florestan. The next few days are filled with play-overs both on the boat and at the house. We are also treated with a lovely dinner on-board Florestan.
Boris and Karyn have built a very special place from scratch using local materials, mainly coral and wood. They run a guesthouse (check it out on tongabeachhouse.com) and organise whale watching and other excursions. They have recently featured in Kevin McClouds’ Escape to the Wild series. It’s worth having a look at the Tonga episode (you can find it on youtube). There are some great aerial shots of the Blue Lagoon and of course of their amazing house.
On our last night in Hunga, Karyn invites the four of us over to stay in the house. It is the first time since Ibiza (more than 12 months ago) that we have a night on land. I don’t sleep very well and miss the gentle rocking motion of the boat that usually sends me to sleep…
Now we are back in town and caught up with a few boats that arrived here in the last few days and haven’t seen since Tahiti or Bora Bora. The Pacific is large but the cruising community is surprisingly small!
Next on our list: organise a birthday party for Aeneas who will be six on Friday! Luckily we have stocked up on toys in Tahiti and hidden them in one of the many hiding places on-board. Aeneas doesn’t know this of course and is worried what to expect after having seen the shops here …