North Minerva Reef

Photos from Minerva Reef:

Looking back at the entrance to North Minerva Reef. Can you see it? (That's our Aries wind vane's blade in the left hand corner.)

Looking back at the entrance to North Minerva Reef. Can you see it? (Our Aries wind vane blade sticking up on the left.)

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Some of the boats in the fleet anchored inside North Minerva Reef lagoon. All were enjoying this unique experience while waiting to complete the approximately 900 nm passage to New Zealand.

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Low tide over the reef. The ocean is the dark blue to the right in this photo, the lagoon to the left, beyond the people walking on the reef.

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Giant Pacific clam – this photo does not do justice to the iridescent glow of the blue-green lip. This one measured about a foot across and was embedded in the top of the reef. The reef top is mostly level but has many small crevices and “pot holes” so you want to watch where you walk. Every nook and cranny is occupied by small brown sea urchins, sculpin-like fish, crabs and – occasionally – an eel. Lots of shellfish, mostly small mussels. And patches of colorful coral scattered across the surface, which, for some reason, we didn’t seem to get a photo of.

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Can you see the small brown sea urchin?

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Moray Eel in its hidey-hole.

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You can dinghy up to the inner rim of the reef at low tide, hop out and investigate the numerous tide pools. The top is never completely dry, but at low tide it’s shallow enough to walk in, as you can see. At high tide, this is covered by booming surf. The top, exposed to bright sunlight when the tide is out, is mostly brown and covered with soft brown and green organic growth. There are numerous large patches of color dotting the top, though, where there is live coral in this shallow water. Here we have crew from Jade, enough, and Free Spirit. Boats anchored in the lagoon seen in the background.

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Some kids playing in the surf on the ocean side of the reef. Looking northeast in this photo, the closest island is Tonga Tapu, Tonga, which lies 250 nm in the distance.

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Neighborhood social hour…

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…while the kids play as the tide comes in.

Ken (Free Spirit), us, and Geof (enough) on Minerva Reef. It was a bit drier than this at low tide, about 30 minutes earlier.

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Ruth, with our friends Shu-in and Laurent from Galatee. (Remember Galatee? We anchored with them in the small boat basin at Aitutaki and shared the experience of the exciting morning squall.)

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Three of the four kids from S/Vs enough and Jade, in enough’s pretty pea pod dinghy. These two boats cruised together across much of the Pacific so their kids could stay close to play mates.

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Group photo, and more kids; adding Zig Zag from Germany and their toddlers. We have been delighted and a bit surprised by the number of boats with kids cruising across the Pacific.

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One afternoon four of us got together for a game of dominoes on board Free Spirit, hosted by Belinda. Michelle from Jade and Miriam from enough came by Velic to pick up Ruth, who learned how to play Mexican Train dominoes that afternoon.

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On our way to Free Spirit for an afternoon of cut throat dominoes. Miriam brought cupcakes.

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The afternoon we arrived at Minerva Reef, a call went out on the VHF advertising “Pizza at the Reef’ was taking orders. Proceeds to benefit the non-profit Kiwis for Kiwis. Needless to say, Velic was delighted to place an order. Here it comes: Dad driving, and three of the four entrepreneurs – the kids from enough and Jade – delivering our pizza.

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Pizza delivery in the neighborhood at N. Minerva Reef.

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We have seldom enjoyed a pizza more than we did this one. A little bit of boxed red, and the evening was perfect!

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3 thoughts on “North Minerva Reef

  1. As we gather for the Christmas Ships potluck tonight at RCYC, with the weatherman threatening snow Monday or Tuesday, we will be thinking of you in the warm seas.

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