Visitors Carol and Trevor, June 2008

Hi Christine and Keith

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 this cold.

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 are some

headline 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