Minerva and Points South
07 November 2009
Our stay in Minerva North was brief but good. After hearing that Arielle and Long White Cloud were just leaving Minerva South a few hours after our arrival, we decided to take advantage of the wind we had and leave in the evening. We had initially anchored inside the eastern edge of the reef, but moved to near the pass on the west side so that we could dive outside the pass. Alan and Bruce stayed on the boats, Alan to sort out the fishing gear, Bruce to get organized on Wasabi.
Just as Kena approached North Minerva, something very large hit one of our best lures, the line strained and then snapped. Whatever it was, it was big, says Alan. Possibly a marlin, or a very large wahoo. In any event, the weak point was the 300lb test main line---the leader is now probably 1,000lb test! So... Alan decided to work on the lines to make up some more lures and check for weak points.
Tane, Tomas and I took Kena's dinghy through the pass for a dive, Tane and Tomas using the two scuba tanks from Wasabi, and me snorkeling. They went quite deep, and saw plenty of action, and Tane described it as a spear fishing paradise. I had a great time too, at one point finding I had trapped three grey reef sharks in a canyon --- they became quite agitated, so I decided they should be left alone. There are many large grouper here, and they are quite curios.
We all ate on Wasabi, and then, as the sun was touching the horizon, we motored through the pass and set sail for New Zealand. The wind has been from 15-22 knots all night, and we've been keeping each other in sight. It's now morning, and time to check for flying fish on deck --- we've had several larger ones on the passage so far.
Tane, Alan and Tomas are on Kena, and Bruce and I are on Wasabi. This arrangement makes the most sense, as it has already been necessary to hand steer Kena for much of the time --- in winds of 20 knots or more on the beam, the autopilot wanders badly for some unknown reason.
There were rain showers in the night, but the barometer has risen further, to 1022, and we're back to trade-wind skies.
We've crossed the anti-meridian (our longitude is now East, not West). I've changed our day to New Zealand's --- that's why there's a day missing in these blog reports.