We spent our first weekend in the Ha’apai group of Tonga in Ha’ano, a northerly island with fantastic ocean and seashore views as well as a little roll in the anchorage. The underwater delights made any discomfort from the rocking boat well worth it. The island is fringed with a universe of coral more vibrant and expansive than any reef we’ve seen yet. There were mountains and ravines of pastel colored hard corals and many softer anemones housing Nemo-esque clown fish families. There were whales just a mile or two offshore, so we could hear their strikingly loud singing while we were in the water. There were a moderate number of reef fish and a four foot grouper in the area. There wasn’t as much wildlife as one might expect on such an expansive reef, but more than enough to look at to keep us amused for the duration of the sunny three day weekend.
With heavier weather in the forecast, we moved six miles south to Foa yesterday and found an anchorage in a lagoon with protection from easterly and southerly winds. We’ll stay here through the week, hoping for some sunshine to see what underwater delights the Foa reef has to offer.