Everything else we did in Vaka’Eitu pales in comparison to our whale encounter.
The anchorage was fine, a little deep. Our first attempt at snorkeling the nearby Coral Garden was a shut out because of large breaking SW swell on the reef you are supposed to dinghy/swim/snorkel over.
And then…One morning whales came to visit Estrellita. A huge mama and a tiny baby just larger than her pectoral fin. It was quite amazing to be in the water (again, so soon after Niue) with an animal that large and have it turn her head and look at you with that huge eye. It basically killed any motivation we had for a whale watching tour. We have heard repeatedly that the tours here are quite good (and we believe it) but after those two, solo (plus Craig – see his post about Niue and our whale encounter), absolutely amazing encounters, we just didn’t want to muddy up our memories with anything else.
Oh, also, we shared this anchorage with Webb Chiles – some of you might know who that is ;)