Logbook: Avalau and Mounu (Vava’u, Tonga)


On some of our charts Avalau is spelled Ovalau but the map I picked up at the Neiafu tourist office spells it Avalau so I’ll stick with that for now. It is just West of Mounu which was one of the three places that friends had recommended we check out for kiteboarding.

P1040107This was our first disappointment with Sailingbird’s Guide to the Kingdom of Tonga. I won’t go into the gory detail but there are people who are comfortable anchoring overnight in places where they can’t swing 360 (if, for example, a squall changes the wind direction) and there are people who are uncomfortable with that. We are uncomfortable, and as far as we can tell, most of the anchoring directions in Sailingbirds in terms of depth assume you are comfortable pushing that boundary – either that or anchor without much scope I guess. Either way we’ve stopped relying on the book for that and other reasons. Bummer.

The anchorage described in the book was that type of anchorage and soP1040112 (2) we anchored instead just SSW of the island in all sand. It was bumpier there as there was no longer an island to break the fetch.

So, that sounds pretty negative but, in fact, we loved Avalau. Gorgeous deep squishy sand beach, clear water, uninhabited – a great place for a beach fire with friends which is exactly what we did.

The next day we went to Mounu for kiteboarding which we’ve described previously. The moorings at Mounu were pretty bumpy as well in these trade wind conditions and it was with some relief that the wind was dying the following day. We got a third kiting session in before the wind died and then moved to enjoy a few windless days at Taunga (next).



  1. We found the same kind of problem in the Balearics, but I found it that it was because we were there during high season. June through September brings so many sailboats that the anchorages are overcrowded. Many people are on rented boats and it's apparent that they have little experience - they do not put out enough anchor chain and end up dragging when the winds pick up, or they anchor right on top of other boats. Not our cup of tea, but we were just there at the wrong time.

  2. The charterers are surprisingly skilled here in Tonga and the anchorages arent crowded even now in high season.

    My 360 swing comments refer to the guidebook writers.



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