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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.
Heading west
10/11/09, South Pacific Ocean

We're still pushing west. Later today we will tack over and begin the run south. The boats--and there are lots of them out here--that tacked early are finding they can't lay the Bay of Islands and will have to tack west again. In the past 24 hours we have sailed about 140 miles but are only about 15 miles closer to New Zealand!! Last night we passed two other yachts. They appeared on the horizon ahead of us at about 1.00 am before slipping below the horizon behind us just before sunrise. Some boats are taking a lot longer to complete this passage than we are..little comfort in that though. The wind continues to be up and down so we are kept busy shortening sails and then resetting them again in the lighter patches. Yesterday we sighted our first wandering albatross since leaving New Zealand 8 years ago, and this morning the sun is shining, promising another beautiful day.

On our way home....
06/11/09, South Minerva Reef

We left South Minerva today at 1100 hrs in good south easterly winds @18-20 knots. We are making good speeds (8.3 knots on the GPS) and we haven't even got our genoa out as we figure we don't want to stress LWC and break anything on this our last leg home. Our friend Mike on Arielle is beside us to the east and a boat is on our track, behind us so we'll have lights around us tonight...something we are not used to at sea. Forecast is for lighter winds tomorrow so we want to make the most of the air while we have it. Could be a patchy trip with boats ahead of us doing quite a bit of motoring.

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.


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Who: Stephen & Paula Pepperell
Port: Auckland, New Zealand
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