Our trip back to Nuku'alofa was very smooth, though we flew too high to
do whale spotting. It was quite different weather in Nuku - overcast and
somewhat cooler ("somewhat" being the defining word as compared
with "utterly atrocious"). The Waterfront Lodge was very nice
- the shower did have hot water, and even air conditioning, which was
a bit over the top (I turned it off) and the Lodge had wi-fi.
The weather back here in New Zealand has been utterly atrocious and apparently
it rained every day we were away. Have had the fire going continuously
to keep the house warm-ish and we are REALLY glad of our electric blankets.
Everything seemed in order though and no olive trees blown over. Last
night the gale force wind gusts were recorded at 139 km per hr. Trevor
has a big job ahead of him getting the grass cut again - you'd think it
would stop growing in these conditions, but no. The camellia flowers are
all brown and dropping off because of the wind and rain, and, amazingly,
the hebe hedge is covered in glorious blue flower. The Sealink ferry has
not been able to sail for a week so the store is empty and I have got
the bread recipe out. Wondering how long the yeast will take to work in
In spite of all of the above, we are taking all in our stride because
we are still on Vava'u island time. We can't get over how relaxed and
refreshed we both feel as a result of the THREE weeks we have enjoyed
on Poco Andante. You were absolutely right in saying 2 weeks was
not enough, Christine, and while we became nurtured and restored, we hope
that our stay did not have the reverse effect on you both. We deeply appreciate
your generosity and your gift of the experience of sailing the Ha'apai
and Vava'u islands of the Kingdom of Tonga. All locked into standout lifetime
experience and it's hard to separate out individual moments. However here
memories: Stars, moon and Poco Andante perfectly reflected in Neiafu
harbour, sailing westward towards Fiji powered only by gennaker 'Poco'
speed, expertly weaving a path around coral heads to safe anchorages inside
the islands reefs, fantastic warm clear turquoise waters to snorkel in
and the dreaded inter-tropical convergence zone. We loved learning to
play Mexican train dominoes even against such wily opponents.
Thank you both SO much for our Tonga cruise we are very very lucky to
have you as family.
Love and hugs
Carol and Trevor