We didn’t stay long in Minerva reef. In fact, we left the same day to catch the weather window to NZ. At this point it is unclear when the next weather window will be, so we didn’t fancy being stuck there for a week or two with nothing to do! Swimming or snorkeling is not really an option there because of the numerous “non reef” type sharks and there’s not even a beach or anywhere to go ashore. But the place was stunningly beautiful with amazing turquoise water and huge waves crashing onto the reef in the middle of the ocean. We’re very glad we stopped there and saw it.
After a very tranquil first 24 hours where we could see a family of colourful Mahi Mahi swim around the boat, things slowly started heating up. The waves got bigger and the wind kept increasing. Yesterday afternoon we got a call from above. Literally. The ORION airplane from the NZ coastguard called us on the VHF to check our port and date of departure and of arrival. Afterwards we heard them check two more yachts, one being our buddy boat Phileas who were 60 miles away. It’s good to know they are checking.
Last night the waves got quite uncomfortable but Rehua handles it very well. Nevertheless, the kids and I took a preventive seasickness tablet and we are all feeling fine. The only thing is that it makes you hungry. Luckily we have plenty of food on board (which is always one of the main concerns expressed several times by Aeneas before we leave port) and it needs to be eaten before we get to NZ anyway (they confiscate pretty much everything on arrival). Today was pasta for lunch, home made chocolate cake in the afternoon and beef stew for dinner. Not good for the waist line!
In contrast to the blue and turquoise waters we have become so used to, we are now experiencing every shade of GREY around us. The sea has been pretty rough in the last 24 hours but that was always expected. We knew this passage wasn’t going to be a walk in the park! The water temperature keeps decreasing and we slowly keep adding more layers to our clothing. Soon we will be in full wet weather gear. Unheard of on our trip so far!
Our position on Thursday 19 November 18.00 (local NZ time): 27.21S 176.05E