August 11 – sailing to Fulanga

Rain was heavy throughout the night and ealy morning, but we pulled the anchor up at 10:15am and motored toward the Tongan Pass.  Just before leaving the pass we spotted several whales spouting nearby.   We left the pass in calm conditions, pulled out the big jib, and sailed south outside the Lau chain of islands.   It was a lovely night sail with plenty of stars to keep us company.

Entering the lagoons of Fulanga in late morning was a breathtaking sight.  Shades of blue to turquoise spread before us with coral patches clearly visible and small tree-covered islands.  We picked our way through the bommies and anchored at 19-09.149S, 178-32.419W, near Riata2 and Guava Jelly.  Two European cats were anchored nearby and Sidewinder arrived a short time later.  No sooner had we set the anchor than Riata2 called on the radio and asked if we wanted to join them for a snorkel dive through the pass.  We grabbed our gear and hopped on their boat for an afternoon drift dive through the trough in the pass.  I was still having mask problems, but I could see the sharks milling around the bottom and schools of large fish.  The coral was stunning and so were the small reef fish.

It was a great way to be introduced to the lagoon.  Since it was Sunday we waited until the next day to go in for sevusevu.


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