Minerva Reef to Opua, NZ

We weren’t alone at Minerva.  A few days after we arrived we were fortunate to be joined by the three fine gentlemen, Jim, Steve, and Aaron, aboard Wetnose.  Besides being extremely enjoyable company, they generously fed us, entertained us with movies, and taxied us back and forth.

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After several days when the forecast for continuing on to New Zealand looked promising, we shifted books, movies and homebrew between our vessels, then left the men of Wetnose making their own departure preparations as we sailed away, upwind, with a small head start.  We left Minerva as the tail end of a low passed and a high was easing its way in over New Zealand.

After the first day out, we were reaching with winds in the 15-25 knot range for most of the trip, which kept Khamseen sailing at a fast but endurable pace.   As a bonus there was a fantastic current that turned in our favor a couple days out and boosted us along by an extra knot the rest of the way in.

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We kept double reefs in the main and jib and a full staysail up for almost the entire 700 miles.  Twitchy, a hardworking but sensitive creature, dictates our sailplan when he has the helm, and seemed quite content with this arrangement.  The new steering oar worked perfectly.

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The weather was dramatic even inside the massive high pressure system that covered much of the south west pacific.  After five days we were within 100 miles of the coast and reefed down even more to slow the boat overnight so we could arrive at the entrance to the Bay of Islands just as the sky was lightening.

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On the morning of our sixth day out from Minerva we watched the rosy fingers of dawn spreading over Bird Rock and Cape Brett.

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And then the sun made its appearance to light the channel into town.

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There was a sad but inevitable change in wardrobe over the course of this passage as we left the tropics behind us, but we were very happy to have made it to this far corner of the ocean in one piece. Actually, S was very happy and K was very sleepy to have made it to this far corner of the ocean.

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35°18.76’S 174°07.57’E 28-Oct-10 01:55 UTC


4 Responses to “Minerva Reef to Opua, NZ”

  1. Jason says:

    ZOMG! You guys made it to New Zealand! I’m so frickin’ excited for you guys. Goodonya.

  2. Sam says:

    So glad you made it! I’m green with envy, of course, and miss it very much. Have a big pot of green lipped mussels and have a great time there.

  3. K & S says:

    Thanks gents, its such a relief to be past the Tonga-NZ leg. This Opua area is little anticlimactic though, its scary similar to Friday Harbor, which is not where you want to be after a 6000 nm trip. We need to get out and look around a bit. The people are unbelievably nice, nicer even than Canadians! Its like the Gulf Islands with super nice Canadians.

  4. pam says:

    miss u love u sooo glad u made it ok. enjoy yourselves it looks sooo sooo beautiful thanks for sharing with me. i enjoy seeing all the pics. u look great. shel is due in 18 days or less ha ha ill let u know love me