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Left N. Minerva Due to Bob McDavitt’s Warning About Low November 5, 2014

Posted by steveandjudy in Code Blue 2014.
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Code Blue Folks & others, 11-06-14 Thur. 10:30am

We crossed the International Date Line around 7am this morning. The excitement on the boat was over the top. Well at least we kissed and wished each other well.

We left Nuku’alofa on Monday the 3rd at 9:33am made good speed for us of 147 miles mostly sailing of about 140 miles. Then 110 miles sailing the next day, then motoring since 10am on the 5th morning to get to Minerva during the daylight due to lighter winds. Anchored at 3:59pm, talked with Anthem who was at Minerva earlier, on SSB and they and everyone left due to Bob’s warning about a low coming in. We Left at 4:34pm (but I did a short snorkel) and still motoring due to light winds and getting out of the area. Light winds here of 6 to 10 kts. North Minerva is a circular reef, with a 150 yard wide opening, about 3 miles across in the middle of the ocean, kind of like the top of a volcano that comes close to the surface, then coral grows to get closer. There is a South Minerva too with a different shape about 20 miles away. We saw the light on it and some waves crashing into the reef due to the near full moon and binoculars. Maybe we’ll get lucky on the way back north and spend more time here.

From Bob McDavitt — “DEPART Minerva BEFORE 1pm WEDNESDAY the 5th

This morning most (not all) computer models are picking that a tropical
trough may trigger the development of a low near 25S 175E (south of Fiji) on
Sunday 9 Nov, and this low may then travel east for a few days pushing a
front with strong to gale NE winds over Minerva by late Sunday and forming a squash zone of easterly gales near 30S 18′ on Sunday/Monday.

This scenario still has only around 66% chance of actually happening, but
its likely impact is worth avoiding. To do so , anyone at Minerva should
depart for NZ by around noon Wednesday ( and those in Tonga should now stay, or , if they depart today , brace for strong easterly winds near 31S on
Sunday /Sunday night.”

We heard about this new Bob addendum, note from Anthem, so just printed it out at about 6pm on the 5th. They were going by South Minerva at the time we talked 4pm on SSB. We talked to them at 9pm Tonga/NZ time on 8.173, the Isabella channel but different time of course. We do this normally every night and talk with 3 to 5 boats, Sequoia, Roundabout, A-Train, Anthem, sometimes another boat.

We planned to have steak and baked potatoes at Minerva with beer, but we ate on the run. I saw a big Kava bowl at Big Mama’s and 3 guys sitting but didn’t realize it was open to others. We knew we were getting up early anyway, 6am to leave.

Blue Skies but not much wind, Still motoring to get away from expected low now 5:30pm.

Steve and Judy
s/v Code Blue

Blog:  svcodeblue.wordpress.com

25* 29.4′ S, 179* 10.5′ E 5:30pm Tonga and NZ time
Next Stop Opua

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Comments»

1. Larry nelson - November 6, 2014

This is exactly what happened to us two years ago. Next event was 60 knot winds. Be prepared. Good luck.

2. Marie & Greg - November 6, 2014

Good choice to stay safe and avoid the low. Nice to know that you had WI-Fi while traveling.I did not expect to hear from you until you reached NZ. Marie


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