Schooner Seawanhaka

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Photo Album - Tonga

(For a map of Tonga, click here).


Read Postings from Tonga

(Click on a photo to see a larger view)

 Niuatoputapu Photos  Vava'u Photos  Ha'apai Photos


We entered the Kingdom of Tonga at the island of Niuatoputapu, at the north end of the island country. Niuatoputapu is a small, remote volcanic island with a population of about 1400 Tongans who live a mellow, traditional life in three little villages. About 9 kilometers north of Niuatoputapu the volcano island of Tafahi dominates the horizon. Tafahi is a perfectly conical extinct volcano and home to about 150 Tongans who grow kava, noni and taro. We ventured over to Tafahi in a little fishing boat and climbed to the top of the volcano with Nico, our local guide whose family lives on the island. Both Niuatoputapu and Tafahi were beautiful places, complete with amazing blue-green waters, white sandy beaches, coral reefs teeming with aquatic life and frequent whales spouting and breeching on the horizon.

Local Tonga school kids practicing a traditional kava ceremony while younger students look on.

The town hall/customs office/bank/treasury department are all housed in this building.

The "main square" of the biggest village, Hihifo.

Mike fraternizes with the local village kids. Most kids on Niuatoputapu are tremendously friendly and speak a bit of English.

Seawanhaka hosted a Blue Moon Party to get all the cruisers in the anchorage together.

We hiked up to the top of the ridge on Niuatoputapu and were rewarded with stunning views of the harbor, the island and Mt. Tafahi in the distance.

The deserted airport - I stood in the middle of the runway with no fear of being run over. The Royal Tongan Airlines went bankrupt a few months ago and now the only way to get to Niuatoputapu is by boat.

Bill became the most popular guy in the village when he gave away all of Seawanhaka's pencils to the kids. School supplies are very hard to come by so the kids ask for pencils and "lollies" when they see white people from the yachts.

When we hiked up to the top of Mt. Tafahi, our guides climbed up coconut trees to fetch drinking coconuts to quench our thirst along the way.

The Captain looks pretty happy reeling in a big fish.

The prized was so big we hauled it up using a halyard.

Go back to Samoa photos.

Go on to Vava'u photos.