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Opua to Kermadec Islands to Minerva Reef to Tonga Expedition Cruising

Opua
  • Event date: 09/04/2023
  • Event end: 22/04/2023
  • When: APR-JUN
  • Duration: 2 weeks

Opua to the Kermadec Islands to Minerva Reef to Tonga / 1260 Nm

13 Days / Cat 0 Expedition

The Category 0 ocean expedition from Opua, New Zealand to Raoul Island in the Kermadec Island Group to Minerva Reef and finally onto Tonga is a true adventurers expedition. We depart Opua in the Bay of Islands and head 540 Nm northeast to the Kermadec Islands. The islands are uninhabited, except for the permanently manned Raoul Island Station, the northernmost outpost of New Zealand. However, they have been used as stopover points since early as the 10th century.

We’ll anchor and go ashore to explore Raoul Island before setting off for the next stop 330 Nm further north to anchor for a stopover at the stunning Minerva Reefs. These two submerged atolls have been the subject of many shipwrecks over the centuries, with some still visible inside the reefs. We’ll anchor inside the reefs and do some snorkelling before continuing on the final 280 Nm leg to Pangaimotu Island in Tonga.

Secure your place on the crew with a 20% deposit.

The 1,260nm route from Opua to the Kermadec Islands, Minerva Reefs and Tonga
Difficulty Level:
Medium
Price:

7750 AUD $

Opua to the Kermadec Islands to Minerva Reef to Tonga / 1260 Nm / 9 – 22 Apr 2023

You can travel to Opua via Whangarei or Keri Keri Airports on or before the 9th of April 2023. When you arrive, we’ll familiarise you with the yacht, systems and safety equipment, and you will join us for a crew dinner ashore. Our crew will officially assemble from the 10th of April onwards. We will aim to depart (subject to weather) on the 11th April 2023, when we will clear Customs and then depart Opua and sail northeast towards The Kermadec’s for an overnight stop to go ashore. When we depart Raoul Island, we’ll sail past the other islands in the group before setting a northerly course for the Minerva Reefs. We’ll aim to visit both of the Minerva Reefs, where we’ll anchor in the lagoons, explore the reef at low tide, relax and snorkel.

The final leg is to Pangaimotu, a small island in the Tongatapu group of Tonga, lying near the capital Nukuʻalofa. It is reachable by a 10-minute boat trip from Nukuʻalofa. Aside from the beaches, a centrepiece of the island’s attraction is a wreck jumping from and snorkelling around the upturned ship’s hull 50 metres off the island’s main beach. The island also contains the Big Mama Yacht Club, the Pangaimotu Island Resort and a vanilla plantation. The Pangaimotu reef was declared a national marine reserve in 1989.

You are welcome to stay onboard from the date you arrive in Opua, but if you plan to arrive before the 9th of April, you may need to arrange accommodation ashore, but check with me first. You can stay onboard when we arrive in Tonga and depart out of Fuaʻamotu International Airport, Tonga, on or after 23rd April 2023. It is on the south side of the main island, Tongatapu, 20 km from the capital of Tonga, Nukuʻalofa.

HERES WHAT YOU WILL EXPERIENCE ONBOARD

  • Hoisting, trimming and reefing both upwind (main, genoas, and jibs) and downwind sails (poled out headsails, spinnakers, gennakers and code 0’s (subject to weather)
  • Acting as watch captain (day and night), helming, navigating, checking the weather and monitoring AIS and radar and for both traffic and rain squalls
  • Downloading and analysing the latest weather forecasts and calculating the best route to the destination
  • Navigating, hazard identification, entering waypoints and calculating updated ETA’s
  • Routine checks of bilges, engine, electrical systems, sails and hardware for preventative maintenance
  • Watch roster planning, matching responsibility to experience, crew management and communication
  • Familiarisation of all safety procedures, sail planning, storm preparation planning and abandon ship procedures
  • Training in the use of PDF’s (Personal Flotation Devices), PLB’s (Personal Locator Beacons), safety tethers, dan buoy’s, storm drogue, liferaft and any other equipment required to ensure you remain safe in all conditions
  • Advice on how to take responsibility for managing clothing, hydration, sleep and nutrition to maintain your health and well being aboard
  • Planning our arrival and route to safe harbour including timing with daylight (if required), weather factors, navigational hazards, communications/customs and sail/motor arrival plan
  • Multi-day, offshore passage making 24/7 on a significant Category 1 offshore passage.

Your crew package includes:

  • all meals onboard
  • crew meals ashore in Opua and Tonga
  • accommodation onboard
  • your Ocean Sailing Expeditions crew shirt
  • marina fees
  • the use of a PFD (personal floatation device), PLB (personal locator beacon), and a safety tether
  • your bedding, a pillow and towel is also included along with suncream.

Your crew package excludes:

  • accommodation ashore
  • flights and transport to and from departure and arrival ports and visas
  • alcohol
  • toiletries
  • clothing and wet weather gear
  • You will need to complete a 2-day Sea Safety and Survival Training Course or equivalent Category 1 Course at least 2 months prior.

Its always recommended that you book flights with date flexibility in case of unforeseen changes due to weather or schedules. Accommodation options if you want to stay ashore either side of trip: AirBNBBooking.comWotif & HomeAway.

Boats
Program

Opua to the Kermadec Islands to Minerva Reef to Tonga / 1260 Nm / 9 – 22 Apr 2023

You can travel to Opua via Whangarei or Keri Keri Airports on or before the 9th of April 2023. When you arrive, we’ll familiarise you with the yacht, systems and safety equipment, and you will join us for a crew dinner ashore. Our crew will officially assemble from the 10th of April onwards. We will aim to depart (subject to weather) on the 11th April 2023, when we will clear Customs and then depart Opua and sail northeast towards The Kermadec’s for an overnight stop to go ashore. When we depart Raoul Island, we’ll sail past the other islands in the group before setting a northerly course for the Minerva Reefs. We’ll aim to visit both of the Minerva Reefs, where we’ll anchor in the lagoons, explore the reef at low tide, relax and snorkel.

The final leg is to Pangaimotu, a small island in the Tongatapu group of Tonga, lying near the capital Nukuʻalofa. It is reachable by a 10-minute boat trip from Nukuʻalofa. Aside from the beaches, a centrepiece of the island’s attraction is a wreck jumping from and snorkelling around the upturned ship’s hull 50 metres off the island’s main beach. The island also contains the Big Mama Yacht Club, the Pangaimotu Island Resort and a vanilla plantation. The Pangaimotu reef was declared a national marine reserve in 1989.

You are welcome to stay onboard from the date you arrive in Opua, but if you plan to arrive before the 9th of April, you may need to arrange accommodation ashore, but check with me first. You can stay onboard when we arrive in Tonga and depart out of Fuaʻamotu International Airport, Tonga, on or after 23rd April 2023. It is on the south side of the main island, Tongatapu, 20 km from the capital of Tonga, Nukuʻalofa.

Tips

HERES WHAT YOU WILL EXPERIENCE ONBOARD

  • Hoisting, trimming and reefing both upwind (main, genoas, and jibs) and downwind sails (poled out headsails, spinnakers, gennakers and code 0’s (subject to weather)
  • Acting as watch captain (day and night), helming, navigating, checking the weather and monitoring AIS and radar and for both traffic and rain squalls
  • Downloading and analysing the latest weather forecasts and calculating the best route to the destination
  • Navigating, hazard identification, entering waypoints and calculating updated ETA’s
  • Routine checks of bilges, engine, electrical systems, sails and hardware for preventative maintenance
  • Watch roster planning, matching responsibility to experience, crew management and communication
  • Familiarisation of all safety procedures, sail planning, storm preparation planning and abandon ship procedures
  • Training in the use of PDF’s (Personal Flotation Devices), PLB’s (Personal Locator Beacons), safety tethers, dan buoy’s, storm drogue, liferaft and any other equipment required to ensure you remain safe in all conditions
  • Advice on how to take responsibility for managing clothing, hydration, sleep and nutrition to maintain your health and well being aboard
  • Planning our arrival and route to safe harbour including timing with daylight (if required), weather factors, navigational hazards, communications/customs and sail/motor arrival plan
  • Multi-day, offshore passage making 24/7 on a significant Category 1 offshore passage.
Inclusions

Your crew package includes:

  • all meals onboard
  • crew meals ashore in Opua and Tonga
  • accommodation onboard
  • your Ocean Sailing Expeditions crew shirt
  • marina fees
  • the use of a PFD (personal floatation device), PLB (personal locator beacon), and a safety tether
  • your bedding, a pillow and towel is also included along with suncream.
Exclusions

Your crew package excludes:

  • accommodation ashore
  • flights and transport to and from departure and arrival ports and visas
  • alcohol
  • toiletries
  • clothing and wet weather gear
  • You will need to complete a 2-day Sea Safety and Survival Training Course or equivalent Category 1 Course at least 2 months prior.

Its always recommended that you book flights with date flexibility in case of unforeseen changes due to weather or schedules. Accommodation options if you want to stay ashore either side of trip: AirBNBBooking.comWotif & HomeAway.

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