Minerva Reef - again in the middle of nowhere - with 11 other boats - 10./11.11.2013

Sat 9 Nov 2013 07:28
23:39.614S 178:54.022W
Minerva Reef
Again in the middle of nowhere - with 11 other boats!

After 409nm and 71 hours sailing/motorsailing, we arrived somewhat tired at the NW tip of the sunken atoll.
We had very changeable weather, but managed to get here mostly sailing - with about 12 sail changes, sometimes at day, sometimes at night, sometimes with sun, sometimes with cold and wind and rain.

Just a few miles off the passage into the reef, we got a hit on our fishig rod! And the line went out, and out and out, bur fortunately stopped before it broke. The next hour or so Michael and I took turns trying to hold the line, slowly reeling it in, losing lots of ground again when the fish went down, down down, and the other person maneuvering the boat. Michael thought it would be a big tuna, surely 50kg. And all I wanted to do is get the fish in so we could anchor behind the sheltering reef and rest and sleep. Beats me why guys pay thousands of dollars for this sport...
Anyway finally, I got that thing closer to the surface, and we were very eagerly peering into the water trying to figure out what's on the hook. And then we saw it showing very clearly the unmistakle shape and fins - of a pretty good sized shark!
I felt pretty sorry for the three of us and when Michael cut the line truly hope that somehow it'll manage to get rid of the hook and be alright.

We went through the wide and easy navigable passage, sailing for the anchorage in the NW. There must be some 10 other boats, and two more came in the following day. All waiting for a good weather window to the last big jump of 800nm to NZ.
We saw some boats here we met before and hopefully will spent some fun evenings while waiting.

Also, the water isn't too cold, yet. Somewhat like the like in a medium warm summer in Germany - maybe 20degC? Our temp instrument is a bit off, but once in, you can swim alright without your breath getting stuck in your pipe. Once the sun came out at noon, it was actually fairly nice. Much better than the 15 degC that are expecting us in NZ!

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