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Date: 02 Jun 2015 04:32:17
Title: Minerva Reef North

23:37.073S 178:54.835W
 
Tuesday 2nd June 2015
 
Distance run so far: 605nm
Distance run Day 6:  120nm
Distance run Day 7: 102nm
Total distance run: 827nm
 
We are now safely anchored inside Minerva Reef North after motoring for all but 5 hours since the last blog.  Conditions have been very benign, with no squalls at all over the past two days, blue skies, calm seas - and no wind!  Well that's not strictly accurate, and I know there are some out there who just like to know the facts and figures.  Well, we had winds of between 4 and 8 knots, and whilst it is possible for us to sail in that (at about 2-3 knots - she's a heavy old girl filled to the gunwhales with all our old tot) with the wind on the beam and dead flat seas, neither was the case.  Although the sea was calm with only little ripples for waves, there was an ocean swell running of maybe 2-3 metres.  As each of these rolls through, we ride up on it and down the other side, and depending on which direction it comes from, we either to-and-fro up and down from stem to stern, or we roll from side to side.  This movement causes the wind to be tipped out of the sails, they collapse and lose their draw and we slow down until they fill again, only to lose their wind with the next swell that rolls in. Frustrating eh?
 
Even poling out the headsail would not have made much difference, so diverting here was our best option.  We entered through the pass in the reef at around 1000 to find an eerie calm and quiet in the middle of the ocean.  It's good to see clear light blue water again, and it's currently 27 degrees C, sunny with clear skies.  Time for some R&R.
 
Some photos from the passage:
 
   
Both ends of the rainbow.                                                                    Marshmallow clouds?
 
My favourite - a fiery sunset.
 
Had to record this - the only time we had current with us - boat speed far left
and speed over the ground (from the GPS) on the far right.
 
   
Going in through the pass.                                                                    Water breaking over the reef to the side of the pass.
 
   
Chartplotter showing us going through the pass.                                    Anchored in clear blue water.

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