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Paula and Stephen Pepperell sail the world on their 45' Herreshoff mobjack Ketch 'LONG WHITE CLOUD'. Over the past six years. Long White Cloud has proven to be a fast yet comfortable cruising yacht and is custom built of New Zealand Kauri.
Taking time out....
04/11/09, North Minerva Reef

We are enjoying this special and amazing place...yesterday on the midday low tide we went to explore the reef. Quite surreal. The reef was rising about 2 or 3 feet out of the water with water running across the top of it causing a waterfall back into the atoll. We anchored the dinghy and stepped up onto the reef and walked mid calf deep in water across to the weather side where the waves continuously crash onto the reef. Small fish scatter under our feet and try to hide in the shallow pools. This reef is quite different from how we remember South Minerva Reef which dries completely leaving large deep pools containing a variety of fish life. This reef is almost a symmetrical circle and is relatively clear of bommies right up to the inner edge, whereas South Minerva has an area of shallows with coral outcrops.... prefect housing for crayfish. Apart from seeing a crayfish shell, we haven't seen any live crayfish here, but they must be somewhere, possibly more visible at night...but we are not keen on getting in the water and hunting at night in this place. We are going to dive outside the reef today by the entrance which should be a memorable dive...we'll keep you posted.

Caught Mahi Mahi...
02/11/09, Enroute to New Zealand (via Minerva Reef perhaps)

The wind has been up and down but we have managed to have a good sail. Caught a Mahi Mahi yesterday which fought ferociously but is now bagged and in the freezer. There are quite a few yachts making their way to Minerva Reef that we can either hear on the VHF or see around us. Our ETA currently for Minerva Reef is midday. Bob McDavitt's report regarding the forecast to New Zealand is that due to some large Highs in the vicinity there will be little wind and what there is will be 'on the nose'. We have therefore decided to stop at Minerva Reef and wait for a few days until there is a little more wind to sail by on the way. We have plenty of food and even more since catching the obliging Mahi Mahi. It sounds like we will have quite bit of company there.

Making good time
01/11/09, Enroute to New Zealand (via Minerva Reef perhaps)

We had a wonderful sail yesterday with the wind getting up a little late afternoon so that we had to reef. Now that the winds are lighter and the skies have cleared we have shaken the reefs out of the sails and are back on track for arriving at Minerva at first light tomorrow. We won't be making the decision regarding stopping or not until we receive more weather information tonight. We are within VHF radio contact (that means the other 3 yachts we left with are within 30 miles of us) and each of them caught at least one huge (25lb) Mahi Mahi or Wahoo. Sadly we did not! But today is another day as they say.....

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