We finally left NZ last Saturday morning. Customs came on board at 8.30 AM and cleared us out which basically means you are “allowed” to leave. NZ customs are very strict and once you are cleared out of the country they want you to leave immediately. This usually means within the next 24 to 48 hours but in NZ as soon as the customs official steps off your boat he wants you to throw the lines and leave the country, not stopping anywhere else. You could get in real trouble if you did and only a serious emergency would be a valid excuse. On the other hand, you have great weather forecast readilly available 24 hours a day and the check out process is quick so you can organize your departure.
So we did and chose our “weather window”. A low that brought northerly winds and rain passed above us on cleared on Saturday the May 9th. We left on its back side, unfortunately with very light winds right from astern which didn’t allow for much sailing. But we had to get north fast since another front with strong winds was reaching northern NZ by Monday and we didn’t want to get caught in it.
So we motored due north and eventually caught some wind which allowed us to do some beautiful ocean sailing again.
As usual it took a while for everybody to get their sealegs again but we all enjoyed the crossing.
When we got close to South Minerva we got within VHF range of other boats that had left from Opua and we sailed into South Minerva just after our friends from Exodus and with Field Trip.
On the passage we hooked a big shark and a big MahiMahi bull but lost both and sadly one of the lures as well.
We have done some great snorkeling in South Minerva and went lobster hunting on the reef last night.
Now we are sailing again to North Minerva. It will be blowing from the South the next few days so we will sit through the blow anchored in the more protected lagoon of North Minerva, before we head up to Fiji.
Minerva if you remember from our post in November is an atoll in the middle of the ocean, has no land but a reef that uncovers at low tide. That basically means we will live on board, no land to go to but we hope that despite the wind and swell (the forecast is for 4 meter waves) we will be able to do some snorkeling. Our port of destination in Fiji is Savu Savu.

One thought on “Minerva

  1. Frode May 16, 2015 / 10:46 pm

    Muchos recuerdos de la familia Gjendem Ochoa! Parece que tenéis un viaje dé ensueño!!

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