Hey All,

As you have probably guessed we have been ultra busy this season so i haven’t really had time to write in the last couple of months. We could not have asked for a busier season for our first year at Kitesurf Tonga. What a surprise it was when we had so many bookings!!! We were even having to turn people away at some stages throughout the last couple of months. It has been exciting to have Fanifo Lofa full of people 🙂 The entire season has gone so quickly, meeting so many new people has been amazing. I remember our first group and we learnt so much in those first few weeks. It was daunting at first to go from building each day to having a place full of people 🙂 We quickly got used to the day to day running of our beautiful little resort. We settled into a routine for meals and kiting and generally got the hang of it all 🙂

Glen had his 40th Birthday in August and what a lovely day/evening we had. Brad & Rowan, Lisa & Jim and Chris were here to celebrate in style plus six other guests 🙂 We couldn’t locate a pig anywhere to have on the spit so i went to work in the kitchen and made Glens favourite of Sweet n Sour Chicken with some wontons as a starter. I also made a lovely chocolate brownie for Glens bday cake 🙂 I went off for a kite with Glen and Chris in the morning, Glen proudly wearing his new wetsuit that he got for his Birthday, and the fabulous Brad Rowan Lisa and Jim set off to make the common fale beautiful. And boy oh boy did they do a fabulous job! We had no balloons or streamers in stock but that didn’t phase this team, they used whatever they could find and really did an amazing job. They had loads of flowers set up in little vases (beer bottles and other random bottles they had found around), they had streamers all set up made from some old magazines left here, and a big happy bday sign coloured in. They also gave Glen some beautiful gifts…They made a huge whales tail out of ply wood and stuck a zillion shells on it. It is incredible and we will hang it up int he common fale for all to admire. He also received a handmade game from Lisa and Jim & a little gadgety knifey thing off Chris. So talented this lot!!!! Such an effort and it was really really appreciated 🙂 We all had a great night drinking vodka shots and playing Spoons! My favourite all time game ever 🙂 I was having so much fun that i forgot to bring out Glens bday cake until half the guests had already gone to bed…woops 🙂 hehehehe

The whales were magnificent, put on such a show every morning and evening for us whilst we were sitting at the common fale. Many of our guests went whale watching with Craig or Matt and they had a blast!!! We even got to go out one day with Craig, which was so kind of him. We had a lovely few swims with mothers and calfs. We even got to meet snowy …a very playful calf. Dave & Tom came at the end of August too…so good to see them!!!!! They will both be back to housesit in January for us 🙂 YAYAYAYAYA 🙂 The whales have pretty much gone now..you still see the occasional one jumping on the horizon..I am looking forward to their visit next year 🙂

Glen and i had a couple of days off in September and we drove out to the horizon walkers 🙂 For those of you that don’t know what horizon walkers are…they are the trees you see on the horizon that are on small islands about 13km away. Glen and i have always wanted to get out there for a snorkel and a little look see. It was incredible out there!! WE didn’t kite as it wasn’t meant to be windy that day but of course the wind picked up and we could have taken our kite gear. I finally saw dolphins for the first time in Tonga whilst we were out there. I was so excited that i nearly wet myself…just kidding…they were swimming too fast for me to get in the water with them…one day here i will swim with dolphins 🙂 Time is on my side 🙂 Lofa joined us on the day out…we are having trouble getting him to stay behind …always wants to get in the boat. If we leave him on shore he swims out…so we go back and make sure he gets back to land..then he swims out again…so we took him on that occasion. Goodness knows what will happen when we go away at the end of the year!!

We have been cleaning the bottom of our large boat ‘lady louise’ on a weekly basis…the antifoul they put on originally didn’t even last six months so to keep fuel costs down Glen and i have snorkelled out and scrubbed vigorously. It is a little tedious but the fish enjoy the feed every time we do it. It will be a weekly job until the boat comes out of the water for hurricane season. We even borrowed a scuba tank a couple of times to clean it…was rather amusing donning scuba gear after not being able to in years. We were both safe and didn’t go for a dive as much as we would both love to explore the reefs around here. We are having a trailer for the boat built this year so that it is not too much of a hassle to bring it out of the water like it was last year. Thank goodness we found someone in pangai who can do this 🙂

Our business visas were due this month so we got all the necessary paperwork together ready for a long time period of waiting…however it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be. We ended up going to lifuka hospital to get our medicals done. Now let me say…what a hospital…it was like something out of the 50’s …everything falling apart in the building..wires hanging everywhere for the electrics..doctors desks in pieces…i can now understand why the locals are hesitant to visit the local hospital. We gave the doctor our forms and he told us we needed to get a blood test. We tried to get out of it…but to no avail. Next minute the doctor takes us into a room and gets some gloves out..I thought phew…at least they have gloves…but then he proceeded to rip the gloves and use them as a tourniquet!!! Glen went first….and they only took a quarter of a vial of blood to do four tests…in western countries they normally take a few vials. I went next and it wasn’t as bad as i thought..i had a huge bruise but hey…not too bad at all. They said they could do the tests there in lifuka (we knew full well that this was not possible as we were told they have no ability to do blood tests in this hospital..) It was a money making exercise so we gave blood and gave money. The doctor actually made up the rest of the form…including our height, weight, blood pressure etc…Oh well all stamped and done. Glen then went off to Nuku’alofa and submitted all the forms and mine was completed in 24 hours as i had to go to Sydney the next day. Glens was done in a week. So much for taking 6-8 weeks…its who you know…We now have four years on our visas 🙂 Apparently it is as much as you can pay for at the time. We wanted five years but they said we could have four. Done! No need to think about that for awhile.

Oh i should mention that we have a new addition to our little family….about four weeks ago a little fluffy puppy ran past our house early one morning…I thought to myself..I am sure that was a puppy…later that day we could hear howling up at the point…then later that afternoon howling in the bush somewhere…and then later in the evening i could hear the howling quite close to where we are building the staff fale…and there i found the little man. He was half dead…all skin and bone and could barely walk. I picked him up…he was terrified..i took him to the kite shed and gave him a few bowls of milk. He devoured them and in retrospect i probably shouldn’t have given him so much. I locked him in the kite shed and he howled and howled. I had to let him out and set him free…hoping he would hang around for some more food so he was strong again. Once he was out of the kite shed off he went. The smell and mess he left behind in the kite shed was something to behold…EWWWWWWWWWWWW poo everywhere…mopped it up…and went about tending to the rest of the evening with our guests. I awoke the next morning to the little man at the staff fale….so i picked him up again and bought him to the common fale for some more milk…not as much this time. Lofa was not threatened by this little timid creature one iota. He knew that the little puppy couldn’t really walk or play so he let him be. The puppy looked like a scottish fellow to me so i named him ‘Alan’….so you can now regularly hear us calling ‘Alan’ Alan ALAN! hehehehehe Lofa and Alan are the best of friends…they play all day and night and get along famously. Alan is a lot stronger now but I think has some growth issues due to malnutrition as a pup. I don’t know how old he is…possibly four months. Anyway now we have two dogs, two cats, zillion chickens and the randomn papaya eating cows 🙂

September and October were quite busy for Glen and I as we were doing all the work ourselves. We didn’t have a full house so we thought we would give it a go. It wasn’t so bad! Although in October i had to go to Sydney twice and Glen had Loa come and help cook for a week. I got back and had two blissful days of no cooking 🙂 We had Olly, Luka and Fran come and stay with us which was great…they found a new surf break and generally had a fabulous time 🙂 We look forward to the shots that they took when they were here.

A lovely super yacht pulled up out the front and began kitesurfing in the lagoon on Uoleva. Lovely bunch of people and our last four guests and ourselves got along famously. The skipper kindly invited us all aboard for dinner on our guests last night. What a treat for us!!! It was an amazing meal and fun was had by all. Our guests left the next day and the skipper invited us to stay overnight on their boat down at Uonuku. We took our boat too as we needed somewhere for lofa and Alan to sleep as they were definitely not invited 🙂 We got down there and it was only blowing 13knts but was predicted to be 20knts…oh well we all went ashore anyway and pumped up our big kites. Of course the wind picked up to 20-25knts whilst we were there and i was so overpowered on my 10m. I quickly came in and downsized to an 8m. What a fantastic ride we all had. We kited on the offshore side and the waves were INCREDIBLE! Butter flat water and steady wind too…wow! We settled the dogs on the boat for the night and had another incredible meal onboard. Now i must say…the shower was incredible…hot water..fresh water…and three different places where the water came out. There was a big shower head…a removable shower head and these weird back massager heads …I loved it! The bed was like sleeping on clouds…feather pillows…feather duvet..the nicest sheets i have ever experienced…apparently $250 a sheet lol…how the other half live eh! I walked into the kitchen and the herbs and spices all laid out on the shelves nearly made me faint. Pretty sad thats what gets me going these days hehehehehe 🙂 We arrived back in the morning to find the swell gigantic…had to leave all the kite stuff aboard Lady Louise and just take the dogs and ourselves back to shore. Glen timed it perfectly with the overhead waves coming in..Alan actually jumped out of the boat and tried to swim ashore…we didn’t even realise he could swim. We pulled him back in and we all got to shore safely.

We are already taking bookings for next year which is AWESOME!! Bring it on … We can’t wait to see all our lovely guests again next year. But first we will take a break over xmas and relax before we start building some more structures hehehehe….

We have some photos from some of our guests…enjoy!