Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tatafa Island

Still in the Ha'apai Group of Tongan Islands, we pulled anchor from Uoleva Island at 16:15 and arrived 1 hour later at Tatafa Island (S19°52.721' W174°25.306') on October 20th. Tatafa is a very small island, only 1.5 km long by .33 km at its widest point (.93 by .21 mi). The eye could see sand along the entire stretch, as in so many other Tongan beaches. This is what we had been expecting to find in French Polynesia where many beaches had been mostly coral with very little sand!

The next day, Jordan and I went ashore to do some beachcombing and were soon joined by SV Buena Vista. The 4 of us cut across the island to the other side and then continued walking around and back to our starting point, thereby mostly circling the island. We had all been collecting a multitude of beautiful shells as we walked and chatted and we came back with a great collection of sea treasures including Cowries, smaller Conch shells, and Cockles. The Camp Pitar Venus shells had fantastic designs that looked as if they had been hand painted.

Big and small

SV Buena Vista also found some rare and endangered dead red coral on the beach which was very intricate and delicate and quite different from any coral we have seen before...

Magnificent but endangered red coral

Back at Sea Turtle, Jordan went up the mast using a climbing ascender with me hoisting as a safety. He needed to adjust a droopy spreader.

Tricky toe work!

We wound down a great day with a delicious potluck-style dinner aboard SV Buena Vista along with SV Victory.

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