November 7 - 8, 2005
Kelefesia is the southernmost island in the Ha'apai group, and it is only 35 miles north of Nuku'alofa - the administrative center of the Tongatapu group. It is also a dramatically beautiful island. These combined characteristics make it an ideal stop between the Ha'apai and Tongatapu groups. However, this time of the season, there are many boats making the trek southward, and the tiny anchorage at Kelefesia cannot handle more than three boats - assuming they are good friends - at any one time. In addition to being very small, this anchorage is also very rolly. It is not the most comfortable anchorage we have found, but it is one of the more beautiful.
Kelefesia is a privately owned island. It was a gift from the king to a Tongan family a few generations back. The owners do not live on the island year-round, but they graciously welcome boaters to anchor here year-round and roam about on shore at will.
The first thing one notices about Kelefesia is its dramatic prominent bluffs. These are different from any others we have seen in Tonga. And the anchorage faces these bluffs - beautiful...
Reportedly there is also good diving just outside the anchorage. We did a brief snorkel around the anchorage, but it was cold, and the visibility was not particularly good, so we didn't gear up to dive. We did, however, see about six large clown fish in anemones at only about fifteen feet below our keel. But since we were just 'passing through' on our way to Nuku'alofa, that was the extent of our diving here.
And, just in case you are keeping a head count, fish slayer struck again. He caught three tunas on this brief leg from Nomuka Iki to Kelefesia. We kept two and threw one back, so we will eat well for a few more days.