As October races by we slowly travel down towards Nukulofa, stopping at 6 anchorages in the Haapai group of islands on the way. Some of our charting in this area had chunks missing, but fortunately the visibility was good and it was easy to spot the missing reefs (and the islands. . ) Most days involved snorkeling, the corals are lovely and mostly in good shape. On nearly every snorkel we discovered something we hadn't seen before.
Most boats that are going to New Zealand aim to leave Tonga around the beginning of November. Nukulofa is the most southerly port of entry/exit in Tonga and the anchorage is filling up as boats wait for a weather window.