Big Mama’s is situated on Pangaimotu island, a couple of miles off the main island . The majority of cruising yachts prefer to congregate there, as they prepare for the next leg to New Zealand, and wait for the right weather window.
Big Mama, her husband Earl, and their family are all very yacht friendly, and offer one a relaxed and easy anchoring choice. The water can be quite deep in places, but we were lucky enough to find a very nice spot, well sheltered, in just 7m of water, off the main beach area.
They run a ferry/taxi service over to the main island for shopping, check ins, and tours, but at $10 a head, it soon mounts up, so many cruisers use their dinghy’s when the water is calm enough. The trip out is usually fine, but the one back into the waves and wind can be very wet, and very bumpy!
Everything is widely spread out in Nuku’alofa, and we all did a lot of walking in search of all the bits and pieces required to stock up, and prepare for the next leg.
We also did some touristy things, and drove around the island with Steve & Chris, as well as attending a Tongan Feast, song, dance and fire dancing exhibition. The photos give one a good idea of what the island is about.
|Terraced Tombs at Lapaha, circum 1200AD|
|Natural Bridge, complete with a road over it!|
|Handmade tappas......cloth from mulberry bark|
|Local fisherwoman cleaning sea-cucumbers|
|Young boy tenderising above sea-cucumbers|
|The youngest member of the fishing party displaying his clams|
|Interesting roots systems|
|Locals on the Big Mama wreck|
|Enjoying lunch at Big Mama's|
|Unusual cemetery decorations, patchwork quilts hanging and draped over the graves|
|Dancers entertain us after our Tongan feast|
|The post dinner entertainment takes place in this impressive cave|