Sunday, May 20, 2012

Nukanamo and Foa

In the Ha'apai area of Tonga...

We had a great night's sleep at the Ha'ano anchorage, it was very protected from the wind, and not too swelly. Also nice snorkeling nearby.

But there were higher winds in the forecast, and higher swell from the SW, so we opted to move further south to what looked like a more protected, enclosed-by-reef anchorage at Foa.

After the SSB Net, breakfast, and a swim, we didn't get the anchor up until a little after 11am, so when we worked our way in to check out the first anchorage at Nukanamo Island, only 2-3 miles south of Ha'ano, it was just about lunchtime. So we decided to throw out the hook and stop for lunch and a snorkel there. This is a beautiful anchorage off an uninhabited island with a nice beach. Just to the south is the north end of Foa, and Sandy Beach Resort, on the beach. It is reasonably protected, even though there is a fairly large gap between Nukanamo and the islands to the north and south. The outer reef seems to pretty much knock all the easterly swell down. In better conditions, we would have love to have stayed, but with winds forecast to 30 knots from the SE, we opted to continue a few miles further south to S Foa, which looked more protected.

Using approach waypoints from the Sailingbird Guide (which weren't perfect), and our Google Earth chart (which was), we worked our way in close toward an anchorage waypoint that I had only marked on my chart as 'RCC'. Garnered, no doubt, from forays on the internet or from a data/info swap with another boat, from an account from a boat writing into a Royal Cruising Club newsletter. After doing our own prospecting around the bay surrouding Foa town, we ended up nearly on top of that waypoint. It is protected from the SW-NE, and though quite a bit of scattered coral is visible on the bottom, we found a big sand spot where we could drop our anchor in the clear. We ended up anchoring in about 25 feet of sand, away from town, off a nice little beach with a landing from which one could walk or hitchhike into Pangai.

At 05/19/2012 4:24 AM (utc) our position was 19°44.16'S 174°17.33'W

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