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.
Scott and Cindy