About Us

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We work as ecotourism guides (as well as biologist and boat captain) often on the BC Coast, but also as far ranging as the Arctic and Antarctic. We have an insatiable curiousity for the planet; all its hidden gems and what makes them tick. That and our love of sailing is what inspired us to sail around the Pacific in Narama, our tough and pretty little sailboat.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Regatta Vava'u

During our first week in Vava’u, Tonga we spent getting our feet on the ground and did a little exploring.  We found a lovely bakery in town (Neiafu), spent some time in the morning market for provisions, then we sailed out the harbour to explore a few of the islands.  We tucked into the lagoon of Hunga Island with one of the narrowest entrance channels we’ve been through.   We walked through the sleepy village and along a trail in the mango trees.  Then we sailed around into the bight of Nuapapu to snorkel the coral gardens. 

Our dramatic dingy-launch finish!
This was all the exploring we had time for before we sailed back into Neiafu Harbour for the beginning of Regatta Vava’u Festival.  We haven’t taken part in any sailing rally’s or festivals with Narama before.  This local festival is the brain child of a few cruisers who fell in love with Vava’u seven years ago when they were sailing across the Pacific and never sailed further.  It was the perfect combination of fun yacht racing, costume dance party in the full moon and lots of other siller events, so it suited us just fine.  The light winds meant that the racing didn’t get too dramatic.  We were happy that we didn’t embarrass ourselves and placed third in the first race which included boats up to 42 feet (ie should be much faster than our 33 feet!)  The final race back into the harbour included a dinghy launch with the finish line inside the pub!  The fact that we don’t have an engine on our dingy was a serious disadvantage, but it did not deter us.  Instead of flying ashore at 20 knots we launched our “dink” at the end of the dinghy dock while Narama was still underway, it was a dramatic finish!

At the end of the festival was another party to hand our some prizes.  There were prizes given for all sorts of things: best dressed boat, best costumes at the first party, participations in events and of course the races.  The trophies for the races were local carvings with the winning boat’s name and they were very smart.  We won a free dive trip for our participation in everything and also received a certificate made of the traditional Tapa cloth.  We think that the organizers did a great job and we certainly had fun!

Stephen had this hat commissioned

3 comments:

Alison Watt said...

Hi you two
just back from sailing for a month up to the Central Coast. What a comparison to your recent sailing. We had to wait a week to round Cape Caution for return to Van. Is. There were 4 storms (50knot+) in a row. Wonderful to read your blog! Beautiful photos and great to have the lists to peruse. Please give our fondest hellos to Steven's parents next time you write them. How great that they sailed with you!
Alison

Narama said...

Alison I'm glad you made to Van Is eventually! I remember waiting out SE storms with Brian on Calvert Is for days at the end of the season on Maple Leaf years ago. Will pass on your regards to Ian and Wendy.
Heidi.

White Shell II said...

So good to see your smiling faces and read of your journey. We are making preparations to return to our beloved White Shell early november and conintinue our exploring of Central America. Plans is to be in Costa Rica for Christmas and then who knows??
See you out there!!!!