Duplicat's Diary

Sailing to New Potatoes
by Rick at 20:34:31, 2017-08-31 (day 1215)
It's easier to say "New Potatoes" than Niuatoputapu, and every cruiser knows where you mean! Niuatoputapu is one of the islands that makes up the Kingdom of Tonga. Anthony leaves us on the 29th of this month from the bottom island, Tongatapu - so we have a month to explore them with him, before he leaves.

Niuatoputapu is the northernmost visited island and one of the smallest. It was very badly damaged by the 2009 tsunami which badly affected the south coast of Samoa and Pago Pago in American Samoa. It's not very large, volcanic in origin and has 1400 people. The only restaurant was destroyed by the tsunami.

We had an early morning departure from Apia to ensure we could arrive in daylight. Yesterday was very lumpy and windy and we made great time. We ended up reefed well down still going too fast. Over night the wind dropped and we shook out the reefs for the genoa, but the main is still well reefed despite the lighter winds. We are on course to arrive at lunchtime so should hopefully be cleared in by this evening - though we are warned that Tonga officialdom can be slow.

We can see the shape of Tafahi in the distance - the archetypal volcanic cone. Niuatoputapu is behind it and not so mountainous. At least we hope that's the case, as Anthony and I would like to climb the ridge and walk along it - supposedly some stunning views...