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just sailing
to Fiji on E'eva

we left south Minerva bound for north Minerva at about 10:30am, they are only about 16 miles apart.
on the way out of south Minerva we tried gigging and soft-bait fishing but not even a bit, so we put out the rapala again.
I had just started repairing the boom vang, when the rod bent over a bit.
something a bit smaller than the mahimahi took the hook. a few minutes later we had a Wahoo on board, they are an ugly fish but die a lot quieter and less messy than the Mahimahi.
I filleted the back have and split the front half of the Wahoo, i had smoked a few mussels in the presure cooker so thought i'd have a crack at doing the same to the wahoo.
a bit of trimming was required to get the slab of fish to fit in the pan then it went on for about 40 minutes over a very low heat and wahlah perfect hot smoked wahoo.
we got to North Minerva about 3pm and there were 2 yachts already there Chiquita and a large Amel called Revelation.
We went over to visit Chiquita and then back to E'eva to dinner.
we had just got the cheese out to sniff, mmmm not to flash, when Ding radioed from Revelation to see if we wanted to have dinner over there.
We met Drew and Lilly and their kiwi crew Kevin and Jan.
I took over the smoked Wahoo that went sown a treat and then we had a lovely dinner with good wine and great company, there was a decision made that there should be a concerted effort tot locate lobster for tomorrow... huh fat chance.

to Fiji on E'eva
minerva south

Up at 6:30am to watch the sunrise, another thing that would have been nicer to share with someone prettier :-)

6knt of wind from the southeast, one other boat here - Chiquita with Ding and Doris, they had taken to long way and got to Minerva only about 3 hours ahead of us despite their great show of speed leaving Bay of Islands.

When the tide went out we went for a snorkel, the scenery was amazing, coral, bright coloured fishes amazing clear water, more fish, my feet. a white tipped reef shark and his mate, the don't bite apparently (yeah right) but they just glided around us being very inquisitive.

to Fiji on E'eva

Got up a couple of times in the night to see where we were, we have been using the radar to keep an eye on any traffic and then just getting up to check the GPS and plotter to make sure we haven't turned around and are now heading back to NZ.
At 10am we were about 28 miles or 4 hours from South Minerva Reef, this is the smaller of the two reefs in this group and doesn't show up on Google earth.
We had done a calculation and worked out we could see about 4 miles from the deck of E'eva we heard waves crashing onto Minerva a long time before we could see anything.
It was fantastic watching rolling 3 meter swells rises up and smash on the reef.
The reef comes up like the rim of a volcano from water about 9000 meters deep.
It is about 6 mile long and 3 wide shaped a bit like a figure 8. it is 15 meters deep and the water is amazingly clear.
At high tide the swell comes across the reef a little but at low tide the only disturbance you get is wind ripples.
Our trip from NZ was about 900 nautical miles and we had to gibe 4 times and tack 3 times, the rest of the time.... reading, eating and sleeping

we had the raw fish with coconut cream, onion, peppers, tomatoes and sweat chilly sauce for lunch.... yuuuummmmmm

to Fiji on E'eva

A day like all the rest...

banana rice for breakfast, we tried fishing again this time with Pascal's tried and tested Rapala pure (yeah yeah, more fishing stories)

About 30 minutes later the reel screams a protest, there is something trying to drag us back to NZ i wind the drag all the way up and Pascal slows us down from 6.5 to 4.5 knots.
!0 minutes later we have a lovely blue Mahimahi along side. this was the most amazing colour of blue i've ever seen.

After a couple of practice shots with the gaff and a little effort the Mahimahi was in the cockpit. (note to self, maybe hang it off the back for a while next time, that was a lot of blood and it went everywhere)
Fish fillets for lunch and a nice curry for dinner with a couple of glasses of red wine.
The back half of the fish got put into lemon juice with a little onion in preparation for a raw fish lunch tommorow.
It took Pascal longer to clean the blood off than it took me to fillet and dice the fish.
then we sat down to a feast,

to Fiji on E'eva

up early from a night of very sloppy seas. 5 knts but lots of motions.

we had the fishing rod has been out all day but no luck.

A day in the life of E'eva.
11:00am Pascal gets the weather fax and decides which direction we should be heading. i'm either sitting in the cockpit watching the world go by or inside reading a book.

The windpilot autohelm sits on the back steering the boat while we sit inside on the warm. so far it has steered him 24183miles on his trip. it doesn't matter what the weather is like this little gadget sits in the cold doind all the work while we sit inside trying to decide what to have for lunch.
Today is Rusdi, potato and onion fried and turned out like and omelet.
the a wee glass of something warming, today was port from Banrock station.
After lunch, the crew (that's me) doesthe dishes while the skipper (that's Pascal) has a snooze.
Every 20 minutes or so someone gets up and has a look around ot see that we are still sailing i n the right direction and there are no big floating nasties out there and then its back to a book.
there is nothing to do until we have to decide what is for dinner.
It's a tough life... :-)

to Fiji on E'eva

banana rice for breakfast, then outside to do the dishes.

It was a brisk morning with a good swell running and 35knots of wind. we had 3 reefs in the main sail and a tiny piece of Genoa out and despite this lack of sail we were still cruising along nicely at 6.5knts.

After a few days of feeling sorry for myself i decided to do some washing and have a shower, the pacific wasn't as warm as it could have been but a couple of bucket fulls over your head and most of your bits go numb anyway, a bit of Pascal magic lather in salt water soap and i'm as clean as a very clean thing.

And then you wouldn't be on a boat with a Swiss man with out a big pot of fondue.

As Pascal said, the same thing with someone prettier and beside a roaring fire would be perfect.

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Who: Steve and anyone who wants to come
Port: Tauranga
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