Tonga to NZ – Update 5

October 17 –¬†Hello everyone!

We wanted to provide a quick morning update as we prepare to bid Minerva Reef farewell.

The passage forecast is the best anyone has seen in awhile. The winds and sea have begun to settle down and boats have started to depart the reef for the high seas. We enjoyed another relaxing day yesterday snorkeling the crystal clear waters of the reef. We swam in at high tide against the current. With the amount of water flowing over the reef it was like swimming upstream in a river. But it was primarily a surface current. A quick dive below the surface not only gave us a well-deserved break, but also provided us with a close of view of the extensive sea life living just below the surface and inhabiting every nook and cranny of the reef.

Many people from the 11 yachts in the anchorage got together for happy hour on Rogue (a NZ boat) yesterday evening. All were looking forward to getting underway. Veterans of the passage confirm what we are seeing from the weather reports – it’s going to be a nice trip.

The crew is excited and working quite well together as we make our final departure preparations, stowing gear and finishing our breakfast smoothies and coffee, while the latest weather report trickles down over our Iridium satellite connection. We are anticipating a beam reach sail in 20 knot winds over the next several days. It should be a fast and comfortable few days with a full-rested and relaxed crew. We’ll continue to send updates as we close in on Opua.

Dave, Kevin, John, Mike & Nick

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