Skinny Dipping and Fixen Dragonsbane in Tonga
For the last few days I have been enjoying my new crew Jess and Ben from Alaska, Jade from New Zealand, as we see the world from the cockpit of Dragonsbane. I have sailed into the Tonga Island of Vava’u and had a local rum punch at the Bounty Bar as I enjoyed the open mic night as sailors whispered poems and played on there guitars. I then rose the next morning and sailed off our anchor with out using the engine and anchored in a place called Maurelle. Maurelle is located off a white sand beach where I had a BBQ and fire as wild pigs walked by. As the morning sun rose the next day we dingyed over to the Swallow Cave not knowing what to find. The cave was so big that we could motor right in. I dropped backwards off the dinghy and explored the brightest sun beams of light in the cave to the darkest shadows and looked for all the life within. As my eyes adjusted to the shadows and dark I could see the light reflecting off the colored limestone walls and when I looked up I could see carved stone and beautiful shapes. My friend Ben climbed up the wall and jumped into the cave water below. We then motored back with big smiles and drunk on life experience. We ate dinner on the beach as we drank large glasses of kava. “Kava” is a local tea that is used during meetings that will make your tongue go num and put a big smile on your face. I thought it tasted like ground up tree roots. But my tongue did go num and I felt pretty good.
With red bleached skies we join our boat parties the next morning and went scuba diving off the back of Dragonsbane in Mariners Cave. Mariners cave is only accessible by diving 12 feet down and then swimming into a dark cave for 10 feet then coming up into a fog filled cave. As the swell pushes water into the cave it compresses the air and makes it turn milky white fog. Then as the swell goes out it becomes clear as air in less then a second. I dived the cave and enjoyed swimming underwater through the lower cave entrance and watching all the clown fish look at me. After diving all morning we motored back to the anchorage and enjoyed an evening of cocktails and dinner.
The next morning we ate breakfast and decided to sail off our mooring ball with the spinnaker using no engine. We raised the spinnaker and let the wind catch us as we fell off downwind and sailed away to the coral gardens of Tonga. We are in Nuapapu off the Island of Lape. Tomorrow we will hike over the island and walk across the coral reef and jump off the reef wall into the coral gardens. I have been told by all my sailor friends that have seen it all, this is the best snorkeling the world can offer. I will put that to the test tomorrow. But like normal the days have been filled with fixing the Garmin equipment, greasing winches, clean bilges, fixing doors, rewire connections, splice ropes, fix, fix, lots of stuff. But Skinny dipping at night watching the bioluminescence spark off our bodies with music filling the air from Dragonsbane is pretty sweet, O yeah the Rum feels good too!