Dear Mr. and Mrs. Stolnitz,

what a suprise you made for us. I really would have loved being with you
when going down to the wreck of the legendary Seeadler. Perhaps I will have
the chance one time.

Thank you very much for sending us this information and the link to the
wonderful pictures.

Indeed one of our members long time ago also went down and even had the
chance to take two pieces of the wreck with him. Did you have the chance
too?

Did you also see the island itself? Is there still anything to be seen
remembering the Count’s “visit” in 1917?

In our society we are most interested in such information and pictures you
have taken. I think in one of our next newsletters I will tell about the
story and will provide the link to your website to our members.

Hope to hear from you again!

Thanks once more and best regards
Matthias J. Maurer
***********************************************
Felix Count von Luckner Society
Bernburger Str.7
D-06108 Halle a.d. Saale
Germany
Tel.: +49 (345) 2926722
Fax: +49 (345) 2926723
www.luckner-society.com
***********************************************

Dear F&F,
29 July 2010

The island of Niue is in free association with New Zealand, one of the many islands of the South Pacific that without outside aid would economically collapse. Most native Niueans have emigrated to New Zealand in search of higher paying better jobs. More Niueans live in New Zealand than Niue by about 5 to 1.

Niue is a lovely high island and has virtually no outlying barrier reef. The exact opposite of Beveridge Reef. The sail began slowly, but during the night, the wind picked up in the 20+ knot range and we were making excellent time. We slowed down as to arrive around first light and once behind the islands leeward side we were treated to calm seas and high island views. We were really looking forward to the diving here and the most unusual way we “boaties” had to get ashore.

We pulled into Alofi Bay to discover “the crowd” had beat us in. Not only were there the seven boats we’d been with at Berveridge Reef, but an additional 10 other boats. The anchorage area in Niue is quite deep, so the Niue Yacht Club offers moorings for visiting yachts at a very reasonable fee. We went ashore to do our check in and some brief exploring including “almost real” markets. Commodore Keith and his wife Sue administrate the Niue Yacht Club which is hosted by Mamata (pronounced “mama-ta”) at her ice cream parlor and eatery. We soon were able to get on the internet, shop, buy a few nice bottles of Kiwi wine and arrange to go diving.

First I should mention that as Niue is a young island and has no outlying reef, it also has no sand beaches and no harbors. This makes getting ashore an interesting proposition. You take your dinghy up to a large crane hoist at the wharf. Passengers disembark, you hook up a bridle to the crane and step out of the dinghy. Sometimes a bit of “wave timing” becomes important lest you go for a swim. Then with an electric winch, your dinghy is lifted up to the height of the dock and swung over the concrete wharf where you can wheel it away or put in on a dolly (provided) and move it out of the way. It was pretty weird looking at up to 15 dinghies all lined up on the wharf as if in a parking lot. See 08 – 2010 Niue TOPSIDE Photo Gallery (which will be posted this week – January 2011).

Along with the diving, Niue is well noted for it’s hikes along the rugged coast into huge stone caverns and tidal pools.

We arranged for our first days dive at “Snake Gully” and wait till you see these pictures of CINDY HANDLING SEA SNAKES….. SEE: 07-08 – 2010 Niue UNDERWATER Photo Gallery…..posting this week, January 2011….

Go to the contact form at the homepage or drop us an email on this exciting event. We’d get to hear lots of humpback whales and swim with dolphins too. Hopefully some video of the dolphins and sea snakes will make it on the site soon…..
KIT (keep in touch),
Scott and Cindy

Dear F&F,
27-28 July 2010

After moving to the South East side of the reef for comfort and protection from the “twitchy” entrance pass, we deployed the dinghy and started to explore the INSIDE of the west lagoon. First and most notably was the wreck of a small Niuean “long liner” (fishing boat), M/V “Liberty”. At only around 50 feet, it wasn’t spectacular as wrecks go, but in pretty good shape and the single most notable land mark on the reef. We took lots of photos, Cindy snorkeled around the wreck and I went aboard for some photos being careful not to get cut on the rusted hulk. We understood that this was a fishing vessel out of the Island of Niue and had been there for several years. See Photo Gallery Beveride Reef…..

On the way back (about a 1/2 mile) from “Beach House”, I noticed a strong dark line under the dinghy in about 10 feet of water. It seemed to run for 100’s of feet and was worth a second look. I turned around and stuck my head in the water with mask and BINGO, an old anchor chain that looked like it was from an old sailing ship at least 100+ years old. Cindy and I returned after a quick snorkel and found turn of the century motor pieces (that would be early 20th century by the way!). A big bonus was that we discovered two anchors awash on the reef. See Photo Gallery of Beveridge Reef UW. This was remarkably similar to the wreck of the “Seeadler” we had discovered on Mopelia in French Polynesia. As the added bonus of the day, despite the very shallow water, the lagoon here was in fantastic condition and the fish life abundant. We did a two hour shallow dive and were well rewarded; disappointment dissolved!

We got some great photos and I even snorkeled out to both anchors which were heavily awash on the western outer reef. Oh, if only the wreckage could speak!

We continued back to “Beach House” and discovered a second wreck only 150 yards in front of the boat. This was clearly a more modern fishing vessel and we found lots of refrigeration equipment in the shallow water inside the reef. We got the impression that if we had enough time, we’d find several more wrecks all around the lagoon.

By this time, s/v “Na Maka” had upped anchor and began the 130 mile trip to Niue. The entire rest of the 7 boat fleet had done so as well. The weather was predicted to turn for the worse in the next few days and prudently they high tailed it on to the far better roadsted on Niue’s protected eastern side. We felt that the risk was still low regarding the weather predictions and wanted to enjoy one night at this magical spot in the middle of the world’s largest ocean all to ourselves. The night sky was clear, the wind building and the stars seemed close enough to collect by hand….

Again, all good things must come to an end and we were looking forward to real shopping, another high island for protection and diving with the sea snakes, dolphins and hopefully humpback whales of Niue. We bid farewell to Beveridge Reef on July 28th with expectations of arriving before noon the next day at Niue.

Stay tuned,
Scott and Cindy