Saturday, September 30, 2017


[Kyle]I was looking for a bit of a rest, so I was secretly hoping we would have Viamolo to ourselves. It gets only a small mention in an obscure guide and isn't one of the numbered anchorages in the packets the charter companies hand out. It's just over the hill from Neiafu and the next cove over from the only boatyard on Vava'u, so it wasn't surprising to find another boat there when we came around the corner. The weather was deteriorating, though, which seemed to help. No one wanted to leave the security of their moorings. Even the local tour boats were giving up and heading home. We set our anchor in wind that made it really hard to back down in a straight line. After our first attempt, we dragged, so we had to pull it all up and do it again before it stayed set. To make matters more interesting, we had a witness – a big, beautiful Humpback whale, which was close enough to see our props turning and the chain feeding out. We wanted to look at the WHALE!, but we needed to be concentrating on getting the anchor set. What to do? What to do?

Viamolo at sunset

The whale left just about the time I went into the water to see what the situation was with the anchor. Damn! Anyway, the bottom was pretty horrible. It was mostly dead coral with only a little bit of sand. It reminded me of our last Makemo anchorage, except that the individual coral heads were much smaller. There was no danger we wouldn't get our anchor back, but there was no way we wouldn't be hearing the chain scraping all night. I wouldn't try anchoring here again, but since we were already here, we decided to stay.

The wind continued to rise and it made it pretty easy to declare it an indoor day. By the next morning, it started to rain. It got harder and harder and then the thunder and lightning started. We've seen rain, but we haven't seen proper thunder and lightning since before we got to the Pacific. I really didn't want to get out of bed, but it was coming down in buckets. Buckets of free rain water. There were a lot of muddy footprints on the deck from our stay at the Customs dock, including some which we hope were from a cat, and this was my chance to scrub them off without using the limited drinking and bathing water from our tanks.

What a way to wake up! Free boat wash, Free shower. It was actually quite invigorating. I still made a pot of coffee when I was done.

When the rain passed, the wind died and the clouds dissipated to reveal a cerulean sky. It would turn out to be a lovely day after all. The best part, THE best part, came courtesy of the birds. They started singing. They didn't just sing like any ol' birds, they sang exactly like the birds in that recording they pipe into every botanic garden in the world to give it that relaxing tropical ambiance. I was filled with a subconscious urge to plunk down $19.99 at the gift shop for the CD so I could play it in my bedside clock radio to drown out all of the horrible traffic noise outside my apartment window. No need though. This is just what it sounds like here at nine o'clock on a Friday morning.

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