Last evening, at #7 (Port Maurelle) I sat in a deck chair on the bow watching the clouds come over the island, the fish scooting across the water, the wind make patterns as it moved across the water, the swallows diving for food, and listening to the crickets and birds settle in for the evening. It reminded me of sitting in our backyard. This is when I feel at home. I snorkeled here yesterday and didn’t see much as the coral is either coming back or dying, but I did manage to see a small black and white striped sea snake.
We motored 2 hours to Maninita Island, a very small anchorage with a narrow entrance. Ken’s chart lists entrances to the North and to the South around a reef. We tried to go into the North but were unsuccessful in finding the passage but we did find the reef. We backed out and went in the South entrance and had no problems getting in. There was barely room for us (46ft) and Slip Away (41ft). Inside we had easterly winds with waves breaking over the reef and hitting the stern making it a loud, uncomfortable anchorage. Snorkeling was so-so because of the current, but it was an effortless swim to a beach composed of crushed coral. It was an easy walk around the island with millions of nesting birds. The island interior was a large tree canopy with little underbush, probably from periodic storm surge. Aside from the waves slapping the stern, we were inundated with flies. We used Ken’s Kingdom of Tonga Guide for the anchor waypoint – 18°51.400’S – 173°59.866’W.
Fortunately it’s just an overnight stop and we’ll head out tomorrow morning early.
Sorry no photos – nothing of interest.