Sun, at last, but will it last?
04 November 2009
It's 3:30pm and we're making between 7 and 8 knots towards North Minerva reef, with 84 nautical miles to go. The breeze is 16-20 knots from the southeast, and the sky is blue with puffy trade wind popcorn clouds. Kena is about 8 miles behind and we're just catching up to Lune III. We had intermittent rain for most of yesterday, and passed through a squall line just after 4am this morning.
In our enthusiasm for the fishing competition with Kena, we left the lines out last night. We've discovered that we can catch fish on nights close to the full moon. Tane was on watch in the early morning when he heard one of Isabelle's cow bells clanging --- she has rigged these to the boat lines so that you can hear when there's a fish on. He started pulling in the line and could feel something attempting to take it. When the lure was close to the back of the boat, he saw a huge shape rush in from the side, the line jerked mightily, and the lure was gone. Ouch! The line is heavy nylon braid, and he now realizes he was quite lucky the leader broke as he would probably have gotten a loop of line around a finger or his hand.
Currently our ETA at North Minerva is around 2am tomorrow morning, so we'll need to slow down a little in the night to ensure daylight when we approach the reef. The reef itself is almost perfectly circular with a pass into the interior on the northwest side. The actual coral of the ring is supposed to be about a kilometer wide and the interior lagoon several miles wide. It appears to offer great protection. We're looking forward to checking it out, even if we're there for only a short time---a good weather window to New Zealand takes priority.