Vava'u (pronounced vah-VAH-oo) is Tonga's second largest island group, and the name of the main island of the group. Vava'u is the nicest cruising ground we've encountered south of Seattle. Officially there are 42 anchorages in the group, and we're aware of another half dozen. The entire area is swell-free, with fairly consistent light to moderate southeasterly wind (0 to 20 knots). The anchorages have clear water, tree covered hills, and sand and coral bottoms. The snorkelling is good, with visibility from 10 to 20 meters and scattered live coral everywhere.
Niafu, the town here, is quite the tourist trap. We're having trouble resisting its lure, particularly the internet. It is efficiently separating us from our money with a steady supply of tasty food and beer, as well as a few simple supplies. Things aren't too expensive, but the prices are comparable to North America, and we're eating out constantly. Diesel is available at the wharf, but it needs to be arranged the day before.
We arrived here for the Vava'u Regatta, where we met up with many of our friends. Partying ensued. Scream did not take part in any of the Regatta events as our sails are in poor shape, particularly the yankee whose seams were being restitched at race time.
There is a VHF net here on channel 26 at 8am. It is quite entertaining as many of the locals have colourful radio personalities.
Steven's sister Katherine flew to Vava'u to meet with us. We went around to several of the anchorages. Vava'u is a great place to have guests as the distances between anchorages are only a handful of miles and the anchorages are flat.