October 13-17, 2005
Vaka'eitu is a popular anchorage because it provides good overnight anchorage. It also has a lot to offer during the days.
The island is heavily forested, but there are a few paths over which you can see much of the island, cross to the outside shore, and climb up to the top of the island. There are sandy beaches along much of the shoreline, and coral reefs extend from shore both inside and outside.
Many of these factors probably contributed to the local cruising bunch having its Full Moon Party on Vaka'eitu. The first Full Moon Party was held in September, and it was such a success that a second was planned. We were here for the second one.
We all knew that the full moon was not until Monday, the 17th. But the 15th was the nearest Saturday night, so that was the date of the party.
A few boats arrived in our anchorage on Friday, then the masses arrived mid-day Saturday. There were 17 boats in our anchorage. Ten boats had anchored around Lape - our "one boat anchorage" of a few nights prior - and about ten boats anchored just off the party site. The party organizers had set up a "parking lot" of anchors and lines in which their "valet" could secure the 30-or-so dinghys that arrived. It was quite well organized.
Maybe because it is October and Halloween is approaching, all comers were asked to attend in costume. We thought about it (we have two great costumes on board), but we thought it would be too warm. So we dressed casually, but others ...
There were less than a hundred people at this party - a bit less than last month's. There was a barbecue, cash bar, music, and a fire dancer. The costumes ranged from simple to outrageous. We had a good time meeting a few new people and visiting with existing friends, but we snuck away early (9:00 pm) before things got too "interesting". That seems to be a privilege of age - no one gives us too much grief for folding relatively early. But it was fun, and it seems likely that this will be a monthly occurrence during cruising season.
Most of the boats left the anchorage the following morning, and all but a few were gone by mid-day on Monday. Vaka'eitu was again quiet and peaceful.
Before leaving, we went outside for a dive with Don and Gwen of Tackless II. There is a coral reef about a mile offshore that rises within 15 feet of the surface, and there are sandy patches where you can drop your dinghy anchor. We spent just under an hour swimming a circle around the reef at 35-45 feet of depth, and it was very nice. Lots of corals and sponges, interesting and plentiful fish, and a few anemones with very large clown fish. This is not a location that is easy to find, so hopefully the masses won't discover it too soon, and maybe it will have a chance to remain this nice for future divers.
But, four days seems to be our limit at any anchorage in Vava'u, so we are off. This time, to the eastern islands. A walk on the wild side???