Vava’u in the wet

Our arrival at the Neiafu dock to clear in coincided with that of several of the World ARC 2012-2013 yachts that had sailed from Niue, so whereas normally the officials had to carry out formalities on perhaps one yacht a day, they were overwhelmed with ten or so!  Curiously, the ARC hostess recognised us from our Atlantic ARC crossing in 2009 and kindly took our lines!

Formalities completed, we found a mooring and started to get ourselves organised for a few days in Neiafu, including the normal quest for internet, provisions, laundry and ATM.   But this is familiar territory for us having been here in October last year, so we knew where to go!

Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings saw us having supper ashore at three different hosteleries with friends, our favourite being Ovava, run by Lawrence where we dined as well as we did last year.

Finally wanting to leave early on Sunday morning, our enthusiasm waned when it poured with rain.  So instead we rigged up our water catcher and watched the steam rise from the decks after the deluge.

Water catcher with pipe to tank

Eventually we slipped the mooring early afternoon and headed for Anchorage No. 8 which was uncrowded and two yachts of friends were already there.  No socialising that evening though with rain again.

From here next day in bright sunshine we donned our wet suits and went diving with Michael and Liliane from Meikyo – our first sortie since the Galapagos 15 months ago.  What fun to be in the deep again and diving independently.   The location was a ledge off Ava Island, a dinghy ride from the anchorage, and conditions very similar in fact to Bonaire.   And just above the dive site was a colony of fruit bats or flying foxes roosting in the trees….take a look!

Just hanging around!

In flight

Dive site

Exhaling in tandem!

Feather Star – related to starfish and sea urchins

Nemo – Bridled, Red or Tomato Clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus)

Note: Names and descriptions of underwater creatures kindly provided by our great friend, Oliver Straub.

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