The anchorage at Minerva Reef turned out to be very peaceful, despite my initial misgivings. I had a great rest and felt very refreshed this morning. And what a morning, a glorious sunrise, warm sunshine and crystal-clear waters.
No sound except the distant thunder of surf on the reef. I breakfasted in the cockpit on my last Tongan Papaya, such a pity that papaya doesn’t keep for more than a few days.
Later in the morning another yacht sailed into the lagoon and came over to say hello. On board was Lance, also solo sailing from Tonga, heading to New Zealand. He had also been waiting up in Tonga for a couple of weeks and also decided to stop in Minerva and wait. It felt very good to have company in such a remote place.
I slept on the idea of sailing to the west before heading down to New Zealand. Yes, I have decided to give it a go. At least I will be moving and doing something – not just sitting waiting. The plan is to sail to the south west before heading west, hopefully to sail above the strong southerly winds heading up from the south. If that manoeuvre goes to plan I should then be able to turn and zig zag my way to New Zealand. It going to take 12 to 13 days possibly – there are some light and variable patches along the way as well.
Before sailing out of Minerva Reef I went across and had a chat to Lance. Like me he is frustrated and said he planned to stay at Minerva until the next low has passed New Zealand. We wished each other well and I motored out of the lagoon.
As I was departing Minerva Lance called me on the radio, asking how far west I planned to go. He said he may follow me to the west tomorrow. I suspect he also felt the loneliness and isolation of Minerva when I had departed.
So, we are on the way again. Sailing to the south west with light following winds. Not going very fast, the following sea is rolling us around and spilling wind from the sails. It feels good to be on the last leg of the voyage.