Still in Tonga

Yesterday, we went out in search of the Japanese Gardens snorkeling
site. We heard we were anchored close to it but had a little trouble
finding it. The night before, we had dinner at the resort on Mala
Island. It’s called Hard Rock Island and is currently “owned” by David
Parrish, self professed former member of the band The Cure. David told
us where to go and finally we found it. The waves were a little rough
and the current a little strong, but the snorkeling was excellent. Well
worth the effort.

After we got back to the boat we let go of the mooring ball and motored
to anchorage #7. It’s just around the corner and took less than 30
minutes. It’s a deep bay with a dozen boats anchored in it. It took us
three tries to get anchored in a spot we liked and felt comfortably far
away from neighbors. Of course, what we call deck jackals were watching
and shouting out advice.

We jumped in the water to check out the snorkeling here. It’s pretty
cool, but not as clear as it was at Japanese Gardens. There’s a very
large coral head right at the cliff shoreline near the boat that has a
little of everything. I saw this rose like thing that swayed in the
current. I couldn’t imagine what it was. My description to Susan made
her think it was the eggs of a Spanish Dancer. A very cool marine
animal. Look them up. We found it in the book and Susan was exactly
right. Many times over the last few days I was sad that my underwater
camera is dead. I can’t find even a disposable one here.

After our long snorkel around the bay we came back to the boat for a
rest. One of our neighbors came over and introduced himself inviting us
to a bonfire on the beach later. We went in just about dark and several
boats of people had come in for the party. They were cooking over the
open fire and having a good time. As the newcomers we were quizzed about
where we’re from, where we’re going and all the details of the boat.
These cruisers get stuck on talking about boats and I steered them away
from the subject a few times, which was nice. The group was mostly Kiwis
and a couple of Aussies, who have quite a rivalry going. The evening
came to an end when sprinkles started. It never materialized into much
of a rain.