traveling west from the southern Cook Islands for almost a week we came
to a spot in the middle of the ocean called Minerva Reef North. (right) It's
about a thousand miles from the Cook Islands. We
planned to enter in the morning so as to have good visibility and to be
sure that we would arrive at our anchorage in plenty of time to settle
in for the night. It's hard to tell from the photo on the right, but as
we approached the reef we saw only the vaguest indication of land. In
fact, we were glad we approached at low tide because at high tide we
would have seen even less of the reef (since most of it is underwater at
were pretty happy that entering the reef through the pass was pretty
much a non event, but we've had enough experiences with reefs not to
take anything for granted. You can see the breaking waves of the reef on
the left. This particular entrance is wide and innocuous, which is a
great relief after 1,000nm at sea.
had a nice quiet evening at anchor and got ready to explore the atoll
the next day. Libby (right) is out on the bow to take in the sun set. As
you know we LOVE this time of day.
in a while. On special occasions (such as being anchored in Minerva
Reef) we have to celebrate. Scott made us some crepes and we topped them
off with creme fraise and caviar.
we are!!! (right) Heading off in our dinghy to survey our surroundings. We could
spy a few things of interest with our binoculars: a little sand island,
a navigation mark and a recent wreck that we had read about. The
color of the water is spectacular and never ceases to amaze us.
Libby on the left saving a baby lobster from the tides. She was fearful
the he would be swept away and eaten. This little sand island will
disappear at high tide.
climbed up on a navigation beacon to get this photo of us in the dinghy.
In this kind of photo you get an idea of how little there is around us.
And, how beautiful the water is at Minerva Reef. We swam around this
navigation mark and observed the coral and sea life, especially
remembering a green sea turtle.
you're wondering how we got these photos, here's the answer: look at Jim
up on the navigation mark at Minerva Reef!! (left) Pretty Cool don't
you think? It's amazing how the view changes as you move vertically
upward. (Libby's Photo)
scene at the right causes us all to pause. Just one slip in judgment and
you too could share this fate. Mother nature is NOT forgiving and being
tired or inattentive can spoil your entire day! This is why Scott and I
are obsessive on the Quest about certain silly little safety habits.
two are a couple of Libby's photos: one of the Admiral pointing to a
great photo op (left) and (at the right) one of the rays we saw as we
were touring around the reef in the dinghy. What you also see is the
line we use when we drift dive through areas of strong current. What
this does is allow us to dive and still be connected to the dinghy
providing security, safety and confidence to those of us who may be a
bit wimpy at times.
corals, the fish, the clams, the turtles and rays are all pretty wonderful out
there. We certainly enjoyed getting in the water and looking around. We
also renewed our desire to get an underwater camera.
we had to leave North and South Minerva Reef for New Zealand. (right) It'll be
nearly one thousand miles of ocean before we come into The Bay of
Islands in New Zealand. Being
familiar with New Zealand water I was a bit trepidatious about heading
south too soon. There were other boats in Minerva Reef who were going to
wait for a better weather window.
we are one night at sea enjoying the spectacular stellar display!
sending Jim up the Navigation marker at Minerva Reef we knew he would be
a good person to go up the mast in Opua, New Zealand to rerun some lines
for us! So here he is! (right)
have to admit this is a neat photo (Left). Taken by Jim in Opua while he was up
the mast! Quest is at the quarantine dock. It's quite attractive, but,
of course, you don't leave until you're checked in. And, being a
detached dock you're not likely to go anyplace.
were lots of these jelly fish in the water at Opua. We thought they were
pretty neat looking.
are emperor penguins (left), not found in the wild in New Zealand, but I
did take this photo in New Zealand and these penguins are alive and
well. This is a healthy growing community. Quite a
thrill to see!
Ditto for the nice specimen on the right. Quite a handsome guy, don't