Duplicat's Diary

Nearly there
by Rick at 18:34:05, 2017-10-15 (day 1260)
Just 15 nautical miles to the anchorage inside Minerva North reef. It's an isolated reef that is used by many yachts travelling between the tropics and New Zealand. It gives good protection from the swell but not from the wind as there is little above the water at high tide.

We had a great night. Lots of stars, easy sailing with gentle 8-12 knot winds and low swell. We've slowly been catching Nautilus even though we are under gennaker only. It's been a comfortable distance though - started out at 8 miles at dusk. When I came on for my second watch at 4am, we could see their nav lights. Now they are under 3 miles ahead and also just under gennaker. Ian may put up their asymmetric but I'm not sure they will for the short distance remaining.

We plan to anchor near the entrance and have a look at our boom and then go and explore the outside reef and entrance with a view to diving it. We have a few days of calm conditions but then we will want to get into the far corner of the reef (which is 2 miles across) for better protection as some weather comes through.

It's looking like we may be here or in South Minerva for a week before we get a reasonable window to jump to NZ. It's about 1100nm for the next leg, depending on how much west we take. The prevailing winds in NZ are W or SW, so we don't want to be approaching from too far East. More of that in another blog though.