Tuesday 27 November 2018

Kiteboarding in Tonga in Photos and Satellite Images.

Liz has already written about our great time kiting in Tonga.  This blog post adds a few more photos as well as satellite imagery pictures of where we kited.  Kiters looking for more information should also definitely look at SV Estrellita's post on kiting in Vava'u here.

The first place we kited in Tonga was at the Kite Surf Tonga resort at the north tip of Uoleva Island.  The kiting location is marked with the white arrow below.  We anchored in the south west bay of Uoleva as the kids had some friends there and Liz and I dingied to the kiting.

Not a bad place to kite ... (Kite Surf Tonga photo)

Next we headed south to Uonukauhakaki Island.  We kited at the white arrow below and anchored to the west of the island.  The spot looks amazing in south-east winds that were forecast.  Unfortunately the winds that actually came were north east so it was not very comfortable.

We needed to extend our visas so we sailed north to Vava'u.  Following Livia's guidance in her blog we headed for Kenutu once the winds came back. 

We anchored at the white arrow.

and kited at the waypoint marked "Kenutu Kite"

also a place for the kids to play

and some yoga

and some kiting !  Fluenta in the background.  A busy day as another boat there !

Flying the kids too.

Flying the kids too.

Once back in Ha'apai we checked out some of the other potential kiting spots while watching the whales.  One of the most interesting was Nukupule Island shown below. We kited at the white arrow and anchored at waypoint "1".

Nukupule Island.  Lots of waves to play on at the reef.
Of all the places we visited we spent the most time anchored somewhere off Foa Island as it had the best mix of kiting, whales, snorkelling and kids ashore for our kids to play with.

The north tip of Foa Island - the site of Matafonua and Sandy Beaches Resorts.

A still image from a video that Darren, the owner of the two resorts, took on his drone.

More pictures of the kids with their excellent kite surf instructor, Dan.

and lastly, Liz and Johnathan rescuing me in a squall after the bladder in the kite burst.

Friday 16 November 2018

Foa Island - Matafonua and Sandy Beaches

Our friends on SY Tika recommended we visit the Foa Island, the home of Matafonua and Sandy Beaches Resort, when we were in the Ha'apai.  What a treat !  The owners of the two resorts, nice folks themselves, had a great bunch of kids approximately the same age as our older two and they all got along well together for their various adventures.  That, combined with excellent snorkelling, good kiting and being surrounded by whales, meant that over three visits we spent a lot of time there.

Liz already wrote about our time at Foa here and here and I previously posted pictures where many of the photos came from Foa in the post of reef photos and this post on swimming with the whales.

Kids !  The kids had a great time on their adventures together

Victoria swimming down to check out the lepoard shark.

This was a fun photo to take and took me a few attempts.  I dove down and then settled beside the shark so I could get a good side-ward perspective on him.

Lots of kiting !

and the kids got lessons.  Fluenta in the background.

Liz and Benjamin dancing.

The recently uncovered petroglyphsMore info at https://www.smh.com.au/world/rock-art-find-highlights-ancient-eastwest-polynesia-links-20090204-7xti.html

The recently uncovered petroglyphsMore info at https://www.smh.com.au/world/rock-art-find-highlights-ancient-eastwest-polynesia-links-20090204-7xti.html

and lots of whales a seen from the deck of Fluenta.

Entry to the anchorage is a bit tight but doable in good light.

A screenshot from the chartplotter showing how tight the anchorage is.  The "skull and crossbones" are where our mini-survey or the satellite imagery showed the boundaries of the reefs.  The chart data is rather off as it shows us anchored on a reef.  We have 150' of chain out.

Thursday 15 November 2018

More Ha'apai in Photos and Charts

Liz has written about our time in the Ha'apai here but here are a few more photos of our time touring around the area.

The wind went north-easterly for awhile so we thought we would checkout this rarely visited and uninhabited island: Oflanga

Showing where we anchored.  Lots of whales hanging out in our little bay in the reef.

Liz guiding us in.

So many whales !

and lots of coconuts !

Hanging onto to the anchor chain to listen to the whalesong.  Pretty clear water ...

Some westerly winds were forecast so we tucked into a indentation in the eastern side of this reef structure.  We also anchored near the white dot I put on the image to do some whale watching once the wind eased.

Zoomed in image of our hideout from the westerly winds

and then off to Nukupele once the winds picked up so we could do some kiting.  We anchored at the red mark and kited from the white arrow.  

and coconuts ...

and more coconuts ...

Benjamin's favourite drink

lots of hermit crabs.

and a beautiful beach.
and time for yoga.