Leaving for Fiji

It’s 2:00 P.M. Sunday here on Minerva Reef and we plan to leave in
a few hours for Fiji. It should take us 2.5 days. Weather forecast
is for very light winds for the next 24 hours followed by winds of
15 knots the next day, 20 the following day, and then a big low
pressure system with winds of 30 knots or more will be coming. We
should be safely anchored in Fiji a full day before the 30 knots

Thursday and Friday at Minerva reef were very windy – too windy to
go out and walk on the reef – but not too windy to have a good
time socializing with our friends on “Vera” and “Wombat of
Sydney”. We are all anchored a couple of hundred feet away from
each other so it is easy to hop in your dinghy and get to the next
boat. It was so windy we never felt inclined to get our own
dinghy off the deck of the boat (where we carry it on long
passages) and into the water, so we bummed rides from our friends
whenever necessary.

Yesterday, Saturday, the winds died down a bit and Mike from
“Wombat of Sydney” wanted to go lobstering. We all went on his
boat (a 47 foot Beneteau First) and he pulled up his anchor and we
motored over to the other side of the lagoon (just 2 miles away).
We pulled two dinghies behind us. Once he had securely anchored
on the other side we all hopped into the dinghies – in our
wetsuits and reef shoes and gloves – and with Mike carrying his
harpoon and his wife Lynn carrying buckets for the captured
lobsters. We dinghied over to the reef which, although it was low
tide, still had quite a bit of water on it, and we had to wade up
and down little heads of coral to cross over to the ocean side.
Then, following Mike, we looked for deep holes in the reef.
Apparently the lobsters like to hang out in those holes and Mike
is experienced at hopping into them and feeling around for the
spiny creatures and then yanking them out. He has done it many
times in dozens of places, and even caught a dozen or so just the
other day. Unfortunately he did not catch any yesterday. It was
an interesting experience though. Mark and Michael were at his
side, but not particularly keen on leaping into the holes, and the
three women were lagging 1/2 a kilometer behind, happier picking
up shells and looking at little colorful bits of coral than
struggling with the crustaceans. Just as we gave up and started
heading back to the dinghies to return to his boat, some very dark
and threatening looking thunderclouds started forming on the
horizon. We quickly made it back to our respective boats and
within an hour we had torrential rain and sheets of lighting all
around us. It was pretty scary. By 9:00 p.m. it had all passed
by and it was a brilliant, calm, starry night.

Dinner was not lobster – but chicken curry!