Inside the Minerva Reef

Miss Molly 4
Bob & Peggy Wilkerson/Geoff & Merel Pettifer
Fri 15 May 2009 20:29
23:37.182 S
178:54.458 W

The wind came up just before dinner last night. A gentle beam reach, which
slowly changed into forward of the beam. We had the whole night to make it
to North Minerva Reef as we did not dare to enter it in the dark. We sailed
past South Minerva Reef, from where came a light glow. There must have been
a commercial fishing boat in. We also heard some "Russian" on the VHF radio,
so that was probably them.

The wind died a little which was fine, no rush. We ended up doing between
3 - 5 kts, which timed our arrival just at dawn. We had seen the reef marker
light for hours, but finding the entrance in the O-ring is a different
story, with lots of rocks scattered about. So a very slow approach with a
keen eye on the water and the echo sounder. Once inside we motored to a
suitable spot to drop the hook. We could pick wherever we wanted, since we
are the only boat here at the moment.

It is lovely and calm in here, just the wind, but no waves. All protected by
the ring of reef. You should try to zoom in on our position on the google
map for this one, so that you can see what the reef looks like. It also
shows you the entrance, so you can really picture how protected it is in
here. May be they should think about building a proper marina inside, with a
nice little restaurant and a few bars...

Looking forward to our proper night sleep already, although it has only just
gone 7 in the morning.

Will probably stay here for 2 nights while the 30 knot headwinds blow
through, the current forecast is for a nice westerly starting Monday which
should carry us to Vavua, being careful to miss the new volcanic island
recently formed.

Cheers from us,
Geoff & Merel