Sunday, June 16, 2013

Back to North Minerva

After almost 7 months from sailing into New Zealand, we finally made our departure on sunny June 6th at 16:15 with the wind on our beam. Just before the sun was down, we were escorted by a pod of large dolphins. One dolphin, no doubt curious of Jordan's bright yellow rain slicker, followed him as he moved from stern to bow turning sideways and looking up at him.

The autopilot refused to think right at first but after an hour and a few restarts, it finally got its head clear and did its thing. The next morning, we tried the newly installed Saye's Rig wind vane and it worked fine, but it wandered a bit so went back to the more precise autopilot.

The weather was mostly sunny with a few isolated showers. Once away from the land that moderates the sea climes we soon experienced the briny undulation and I was just a little nauseous at first as I forgot to take a seasick pill after being at anchor for so many months. After 2.5 days of broad reaching (a great point of sail) out of New Zealand, there was mostly no wind so we resorted to the purr of the Perkins motor (54 hours!)

On June 13th, we set anchor (S23°39.631' W178°54.222') in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, once again back at North Minerva Reef. Already anchored were several boats we knew: Catharpin Blue, Meikyo, Morning Glory, Solstice as well as 2 others (1 being a power boat).

Our first stay at Minerva Reef in November 2012 on our way to New Zealand from Tonga resulted in the capture of 4 large delicious lobsters with friends on SV AKA. Unfortunately, this time Jordan's efforts were unsuccessful. The tide was high at mid-day making overflow runoff strong and still a bit cool in the water so he didn't stay in long. Such a change from November when the water was glassy smooth and warm.

He saw 2 lobsters but couldn't quite get a good shot with his spear gun. He also saw a few sharks and when 1 got too close for comfort, Jordan poked him with the tip of his spear and it scooted away.

Jordan snorkelling at Reef edge with strong runoff

The sun set early, between 17:00 and 17:30. We poured a nightcap, put on some music, and as dinner cooked, we danced. What a life! We ended the evening with Jordan serenading me on his violin. Oh...stop my heart...I am so happy and I know my man is too. I thank my beautiful, lustrous, heavenly stars every night.

We were the only boat at the Reef last night and for the second time was the last boat out, leaving it vacant for the next seafarer.

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