ON ROUTE TO TONGA
We are now on route to Tonga and hope to arrive there tomorrow.
We ended up extending our stay an extra week in Suwarrow as we waited for a favourable weather forecast before heading out to do the next 700 mile leg.
Not that it was any hardship in staying – Penny would have been happy there for the season as Apii and James, the park wardens, continued to make our time there memborable.
Besides the pot luck suppers each night and another trip to one of the islands to collect coconut crabs, we spent most days snorkelling on the surrounding reefs.
It is always quite something to dive on a prestige coral reef that probably has only been explored by a few people before. There was a wide range of coral and reef fish often quite large in size, swimming only feet away from you and fearless of our presence.
The down side of this is the huge number of sharks that are in the water; you would often see 4 to 5 black tip reef sharks on the surface circulating the boat. The black tips are ok; it’s the greys you have to be careful of as they can become quite aggressive, especially when you are spear fishing around them.
You have to be very quick in getting the speared fish into the boat and always have someone watching your back. It was a bit daunting for those of us who were just snorkelling.
Each evening Apii would take all the fish heads and food scraps down to one of the beaches known as Shark Bay, and feed the sharks. The sharks, ranging in size from baby ones to 6ft long, would be waiting for his arrival. Once Apii started throwing the food scraps in there was a massive feeding frenzy in water only one foot deep. We actually saw one of the large grey reef sharks eat one of the smaller black tips as they were fighting for the food scraps.