22 November 2009 | Tutukaka
11 November 2009
10 November 2009
07 November 2009
07 November 2009
03 November 2009
01 October 2009
29 September 2009
05 September 2009 | Nuku'alofa
27 August 2009
27 August 2009
23 August 2009
16 August 2009
12 August 2009
09 August 2009
08 August 2009
08 August 2009

Back on Kena

07 November 2009
Yesterday, after we arrived at North Minerva Reef and set anchor Tomas, my dad and I went on an excursion outside the reef. On board Wasabi they have two sets of dive gear and a compressor, so Tomas and I decided to go for a dive on the north west side of the pass. My dad came along to snorkel and by our support boat. The dive was truly world class. There was a wonderful array of tropical fish, turtles, and eels amongst the dramatic terrain covered in technicolor coral, sponges and sea fans. We anchored about 15 feet from the outside edge of the reef, took the plunge and swam down a light coral encrusted trench that led to a drop off that feel thousands of feet. We swam along wall of the drop of at around 90 feet enjoying large pelagic fish and incredible geological formations that where framed by the seemingly endless, deep blue abyss. A number of times I was startled, sending out a cloud of bubbles, as large fish, often my size or larger, curiously came to check me out. Fish (especially sharks) seem to know when you are watching them and tend to approach from the rear when you are not looking. When they come into the edge of your periphery of sight quite close by it often catches you off guard.

I was completely engrossed by the magnificent marine milieu, and at one point turned around to check on Tomas and couldn't find him. I eventually located him about 45 feet below me, and at a 135 feet he was more than doubling the depth he is certified for. I frantically motioned for him to come up, because at depths beyond 100 feet one can succumb to the effects of nitrogen narcosis, which creates confusion and inebriation, caused by excess nitrogen in the blood. Divers have been known to lose orientation of up and down, take there regulator out, start breathing water, and perform other actions similar to that of someone who is drunk. When diving on a wall without a seeable bottom, it is easy for even experienced divers to lose track of there depth, as there is no visual reference to guide you. Luckily, at that dept Tomas seemed resilient to the effects of nitrogen narcosis, and it was only a good lesson about proper depth monitoring.

After we got back to the dinghy and took off our dive gear, I hopped back in the water for a quick spearfish. Within five minutes I had snuck up on a tasty looking 25 pound spotted grouper. I took a shot and hit him square in the side, but unfortunately he gave one hell of a fight and snapped the spear off the gun's retrieval line. I suppose it was just as well though, within seconds a group of greedy grey reef sharks were there to check out what the commotion was all about.

After a warm shower on Wasabi (which I haven't had in about 6 months...the warm part, not the shower!), we sat down for a meal and a whisky before we changed crews and left of out final passage to New Zealand. Since Kena had been catching fish like mad, both Kena and Wasabi's fridges are filled with fish, we ate an appetizer of tuna sashimi followed up by a large portion of mahi mahi with veggies and rice.

Although it was sad to say goodbye to my dad (it always is), as we greatly enjoyed our passage together on Wasabi, it felt good to be back on trusty and familiar Kena. We decided that I should captain Kena on the last leg to New Zealand, because the weather can be very nasty, and besides my dad no one knows her better than I do.

We left Minerva Reef at around 6:30pm, hoisted the canvas sailed a beautiful beam reach towards the sunset. We had great sailing all through the night, and hand steered most of the way in order to keep our speed up to stay with the much larger and faster Wasabi. Tomas is really getting the hang of steering the boat, holding a steady direction and adjusting for gusts and waves. He has come along way since we first gave him the wheel in August and he immediately went into the wind and put the boat in irons, jamming the sails. Now he seems at ease on the helm, sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the ride.

I had the daybreak shift, which is my favorite. You get to view the gradual transition from night to day. One by one the stars fade away, until just the planets are left shinning in the predawn glow. Then the sun slowly unveils itself, spreading warmth and radiance and igniting the clouds with brilliant oranges and purples and reds.

Today also brought favorable wind and smooth sailing. At around midday we were visited by a pod of about twenty dolphin which played and frolicked at the bow. We stood on the bow as they leaped below our feet, squeaking with pleasure to one another.

Tomas and I have love having Alan onboard and are constantly entertained by his endless and epic stories from a life on the sea. We are also learning so much from someone who has more maritime experience than anyone I know. I feel comfortable and safe with him onboard and am excited on seeing the rest of my family upon arrival in New Zealand.

I am just about to hand over the watch to Alan. Right now the moon has just risen and is shimmering like silver on the water. As we continue to head south, more and more phosphorescence is present the water leaving an iridescent path behind us and twinkling like the spangled sky above, giving the effect that the starry universe does not stop at the horizon, but envelops you completely.
Vessel Name: Kena
Vessel Make/Model: Ganley Pacemaker 40
Hailing Port: Tutukaka, New Zealand
Crew: Roger, Sally, Tane, Hunters all
About: The Hunter family: Roger, originally from Tutukaka, New Zealand Sally, from Tasmania, Australia and Tane is from New Mexico.
Extra: This leg of the trip is from Puerto Lucia, Ecuador to New Zealand.
Kena's Photos - Main
Playing in the world's smallest independent nation.
47 Photos
Created 15 September 2009
A few picks of Roratonga, where we picked up Tomas, and of the incredible Beveridge Reef
20 Photos
Created 1 September 2009
Our adventure in the islands of Tahaa and Raiatea in The Society Islands
18 Photos
Created 5 August 2009
Mystical Bora Bora in French Polynesia
31 Photos
Created 5 August 2009
The Sailing Rendezvous in Tahiti and Moorea, plus a little of Huahine
35 Photos
Created 5 August 2009
Our journey through the coral atolls of the Tuamotus in French Polynesia
65 Photos
Created 19 June 2009
Tahuata, Ua Huka and Nuku Hiva
48 Photos
Created 12 May 2009
25 days of open seas and our first few days on Hiva Oa
51 Photos
Created 28 April 2009
Our journeys to Puerto Lucia, Cuenca, Guayaquil and about
55 Photos
Created 25 March 2009
Our journey through the Galapagos Islands.
50 Photos
Created 17 April 2008
37 Photos
Created 17 April 2008
14 Photos
Created 18 March 2008
49 Photos
Created 6 March 2008
46 Photos
Created 22 February 2008
58 Photos
Created 26 January 2008
Mazatlan South
58 Photos
Created 9 January 2008

S/V Kena

Who: Roger, Sally, Tane, Hunters all
Port: Tutukaka, New Zealand