Day 386, Year 1: Passage to N Minerva Reef, Day 2—Downwind Again
Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Weather: Overcast Day, ENE Winds 18 Knots
Latitude: 22 degrees 32 minutes S
Longitude: 177 degrees 30 minutes W
Location: Passage from Tonga to N Minerva Reef
Miles to Go: 104 to Minerva Reef

We have great winds, but from the wrong direction. They are still dead behind us and we are motor sailing most of the time in order to get to North Minerva Reef tomorrow. The seas are fairly calm so today has been a smooth ride. Late last night, things got a little boisterous with winds ranging from 20 to 30 knots. It was one of those old time rock and roll nights. We motor sailed all night and then when the winds settled a little this morning, we were able to sail for a few hours. Then the winds settled a little too much and the engine went back on. So it goes with sailing. Our daughter Heather wrote that she and her husband Jed are having a hard time finding the right weather window to get their little 19-foot Cape Dory moved around to the place it will be hauled out for the winter. Whether on Cape Cod or out here in the South Pacific, sailing is all about those weather windows.

Mark and Doug on Windcastle drove me nuts today analyzing the weather on the VHF radio and in another half-hour they are going to do it again along with Paddy on Zafarse and Ray on Nereid. These are two other boats that are close to us. They have been reviewing all of the weather data to see if we should push on to New Zealand without stopping in Minerva. My analysis says we should stop, but I will report tomorrow on the conclusion.