Back on line for a while.  We are currently in Vavau, the (almost) top group of islands in Tonga. All issues relating to our knockdown on the way to Tonga are now resolved - dodger stitched up, clothes washed & dried, replacement glass for pressure lantern, AIS replaced, etc.
We have cruised up from Tongatapu through the western islands of the Haapaii group to get to Vavau. An enjoyable cruise in company with Akka some of the time.  Saw whales breaching & had one dive in front of us, about 30 feet away, gently lifting it's tail out of the water - we had the engine in reverse to miss him! Stopped at Kelefesia where we were invited to a pig on spit - only 2 people on the island & the old man went off with 2 dogs & a machete to get the pig. Most enjoyable of course. He and his son spend time on the island catching octopus for smoking & later sale, also sea cucumbers / beche de mer which are sold to any chinese living in the islands. Enjoyed some diving on coral reefs.
From kelefesia we had a short sail to Nomuka island (Nomuka Iki actually) where we had a beach walk & saw whales breaching & flapping pectoral fins etc about a km away. Heard them siging throughout the night.
From here to Haafelefa, an island of 60 people, with 6 churches. One of the churches could hold about 600 people!!!!
Again had an invite to lunch with a family - we sat at the table with a white table cloth & ate coconut, taro leaf with corned beef, fish, yam, breadfruit, all cooked in an umu (underground oven). We exchanged a few gifts Kava, fishing gear, DVD's, sweets etc. We were watched by about 12 children & half a dozen adults while we ate! After lunch we had a few medical problems brought our way to pass comment on - Andrea & Andreas on Akka took digital photos of a leg infection (fungal?) on a small child & emailed to a Dr. relative, who cautiously confirmed our diagnosis.
From here we had an overnight sail to Vavau, departing 4.30 pm to have a few hours of daylight to regain our sealegs, & arriving at southern islands of vavau at dawn. A lot more boats here all waiting to head south to NZ, so quite a different atmosphere from the Haapaii group. Trevor & Roz joined us for about 9 days & we enjoyed visiting a variety of islands around here (a bit like the Whitsinday islands - a lot of islands in a small area- yachtie's dream) Didn't catch any decent fish (remoras don't count) and didn't see 1 whale - they were always "here a couple of days ago" so we will have to lift our game in that department.
Internet access here is difficult, although we are now in a hotspot at anchor so it is performing ok now. Can't get access to windows mail as it won't accept wifi, so have to go through Chariot webmail, which doesn't have our address book yet so all a bit difficult.
Anyway all is well, the only lasting damage from the knockdown is a niggling back / hip pain,but some of that was there before. Wil sign off now, cheers from Mike & Gay