In June 2005 my niece Verona sailed from Nelson heading for a romantic holiday in Rarotonga. She traveled with her beloved partner on his yacht. They ran into a severe storm north of New Zealand and were never found.
While writing this piece I came across reference to a quote from Tristan and Isolde in The Waste Land – “Öd’ und leer das Meer” – “desolate and empty the sea”. In both the Wagner’s and T. S. Eliot’s works the reference is to drowning at sea. When I discovered that the words were sung, in the opera, by the Shepherd (who plays Cor Anglais) it seemed appropriate for Te Moanapouri to end with a brief quotation from Act III of Tristan and Isolde.