Friday Foto: Sailing Away From Tonga To New England

sailing, tonga, vava'u, elizabeth islands

Sailing Tonga’s Vava’u Islands. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Ahoy! I’m taking off for a four-day sailing adventure from Rhode Island to the Elizabeth Islands off the southwest coast of Cape Cod.

I’d never set foot on a sailboat until I met my husband, Phil. He grew up sailing on his family’s 27-ft. sloop from an early age when he lived in the Malaysian portion of Borneo. Yes, you read that right: Borneo. Phil is an international man of mystery. He spent stints as a child in Argentina, Malaysia, Iran and Poland returning to his native Canada in between each overseas stay. When his family moved back to Montreal, they shipped the boat to Lake Champlain, which straddles Quebec, Vermont and New York. They no longer own the boat, but that didn’t stop Phil.

After about a year of dating, Phil convinced me to give sailing a try. We started taking classes to get our American Sailing Association certifications with the dream that some day we’d be able to charter a boat and sail ourselves around a tropical paradise. The dream came true on our honeymoon, when we bareboat chartered a 30-ft. sloop in Tonga’s Vava’u Islands. It was the trip of a lifetime.

sailing, tonga, vava'u

Our ride through Tonga. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

Sailing is a very different type of activity than running. But it does allow for runs in remote locations, like this beach jaunt on a deserted island in Tonga. We anchored on the other side of the island, followed a jungle trail across a ridge to find this pristine stretch of beach, where I did a few laps back and forth.

sailing, Tonga, Vava'u

Running in Tonga’s Vava’u Islands. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

This weekend, the water won’t be quite so blue. But it will be a fantastic mid-summer mini-vacation as we explore some of Massachusetts’ smaller islands. Two friends, who are also sailors and avid runners, are joining us. I’m hoping to find a nice spot to run somewhere on this trip.

Wishing you all fair winds and following seas this weekend!

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.


07 2013

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  1. 1

    This is so cool! I’ve been thinking about taking sailing lessons for about two years now and just haven’t had the guts to do it. My boyfriend isn’t interested in it at all, but his dad has been encouraging it. His dad took lessons when he was in his 20s and said it’s a lot of work but a lot of fun. What do you think were the hardest parts of getting certified?
    Kristina @ Blog About Running recently posted..What I Do Besides Running: Fantasy Football!My Profile

  2. 5

    What a fabulous holiday! I used to sail regularly as a lad, but only small boats. Good fun when the breeze does the right thing — I recall those days more vivdly than the ones when I spent what seemed like hours becalmed.
    Ewen recently posted..Hoka Bondi and the Bush Capital 16kMy Profile


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