We are in North Minerva.
The front that was heading towards us from the Tasman Sea finally caught up with us last night. We have had sustained winds of 24 to 30 knots from the south.
Not that much one would say, but the front has been blowing hard further south and the swell it has brought is big.
Waves according to the Grib files are 4.5 meters big. We don’t know if that is true. We are tucked inside the lagoon and can only see the huge waves brake on the reef, turning the usually dry reef at low tide into a cascade of water that fills the lagoon.
The anchorage is very rolly. It feels as if we were sailing underway, on the ocean, although we don’t move from our spot.
But we feel safe, and we are safe.
It doesn’t take much to be in a very different situation, though.
This morning we spotted a sail amongst the big waves outside the reef. It was a yacht approaching Minerva steering towards the pass that was funneling all the water the waves fill the lagoon with, into the ocean.
We could see there were 2 people on board and our stomach seemed to get twisted more and more as they approached the pass.
Surrounded by huge waves smashing with an ear braking (despite the wind) sound on the reef they tried motoring in, being bounced left and right and up and down as if they were a little cork on the water.
Minerva’s pass is rather short, about 150 meters but it took them 10 long minutes to cross it. In the meantime we on the other boats inside, were watching from the safety of our cockpits, anxious and ready to react in case something went wrong. We were all relieved when they finally got into the lagoon.
The day passed by and the kids were entertaining themselves on board Caminante with a bunch of kids from different boats.
Everybody was busy and or having fun when we spotted a boat that had just crossed the pass. It was a sailing yacht and had no mast.
On the VHF they told us that they were heading towards NZ from Fiji and had broken their mast a while ago. No one on board had gotten hurt and they decided to motor into Minerva to asses the situation and probably try to reach Fiji from here.
Tonight a bunch of us boats had a pot luck (when everybody brings some food and we all share together) on Caminante.
While we were having fun and enjoying ourselves, the wind is still hauling and the waves crash above the reef making it into the lagoon.
And I just can’t stop thinking of what is on the other side. Of who might be out there and what they might be going through.
There are many boats heading to the Tropics from NZ and some of them are out there now, while we are eating, drinking and having fun.
It is a fine line in life that make a big difference.