Where are we

Saturday 3 June 2023

200 nm to Minerva Reefs

It’s been a mixed and mild passage with weather forecasts that, more often than nought, haven’t panned out. 

Our first 200 nm were under sail. Not expecting much wind, we were surprised to get 15 to 20 knots from the southwest not 4 hours out of Marsden Cove.  We averaged 300 nautical miles in the first two days - 153 and 147 nm. Normally we average 130 nm a day, so these were amazing numbers.

Maybe Tim’s compulsive hull cleaning every time we dropped anchor was paying off?  

The sea state was less than expected and probably down to being in the lee of New Zealand for the first two days.  Though it was rather rolly, it wasn’t the bad type of roll where you are flung from side to side or the fridge contents make a break for freedom every time you open the door. This passage was surprisingly smooth and we sailed comfortably with one reef in the main sail. 

We also had a ‘blip’ appear in the forecast on day 5 or 6 when we could expect to be in the Minerva Reef area. Depending on which weather model you looked at, we could expect a little wind and rain, or a small fast moving depression with potentially 30 knot winds gusting 50, or as the Australian model briefly suggested a Weather Bomb. Yikes.

Early in the passage, all one can do is watch, wait and try to get into a position where we have the choice of arriving in Minerva in daylight and in time to get well anchored, or alter course to sail under the system, or hove-to below the system and wait for it to pass.

Both the depression and ‘the Bomb’ disappeared completely from all the forecasts.

Unfortunately our lovely wind also disappeared yesterday.  We are crossing the centre of a large High pressure so it is to be expected, but doesn’t mean we have to like it.  We’re having a mix of light to no wind. Forecasts suggest that there will be wind, but we seem to be in a ‘always tomorrow, but never today’ scenario.

We’re not in the rush we were, but it would be nice to get there without using lots of fuel. 

We expect to spend several days in Minerva Reefs as Fiji is expecting wind and rain in the coming days and who wants to arrive in that?

We’ve had two visitors onboard in the last two days.  

First, in the middle of the night I had a large flying fish join me in the cockpit. Every time I tried to pick it up, it spread its wings and flapped wildly.  Eventually I got a towel over it, scooped it up and chucked it over the side.

Second, we had a very tired swallow came aboard as dusk was approaching. It really really wanted to come below and we really really didn’t want it to, so I made up this paper bag and basket house.  

Come below it did though, and we plucked it off the paper towels in the galley, the sink splashback, the clock and transferred it back the its house each time. It was so fast. One minute it was outside and the next, perched somewhere unexpected below deck. When it next came to roost in my bookshelf on top of my cookbooks, we gave up and left it in peace after getting a tea towel underneath it.  By the time I woke in the morning, it was gone.

It is quite a thing to have a tiny wild creature in the palm of your hand.

All is well onboard. 


  1. Amazing about the animals! You are such a wonderful storyteller. Wishing you some helpful winds soon. xo Tania

  2. Wonderful blog, really great to hear all your news. Elaine xx