Sunday, October 07, 2007

October 7, 2007 - Beveridge Reef

I'm sitting down to type this with a cup of coffee sitting just to the side of the keyboard. The liquid in the cup is shimmying a bit, but it isn't sloshing back and forth. We are at anchor at Beveridge Reef. Finally. It has been a very long week getting here.

We are very happy to be here. We have been dreaming about this place for a long time. Two years ago, in the midst of our refit, we had dinner in Boston's South End at the Franklin Cafe with Peter and Jeanne Pockel. I had contacted Jeanne through the SSCA bulletin board. She and Peter graciously took time out of their visit to see family to give some advice to two new cruisers. We had a great meal, and left filled with wonder about one of the places Jeanne and Peter had visited on their 25 year long cruising odyssey - Beveridge Reef. They described Beveridge as a swimming pool in the middle of the ocean. No land, just a reef surrounding a lagoon, abounding with unexploited sea life in a completely isolated location. This is exactly the kind of off-the-beaten-track place that we were hoping to visit on our trip.

The next day at work, I googled Beveridge Reef. The first hit was Jeanne's account of the month they spent in Beveridge. Then it was off to try to find some charts of the spot. [God, I miss slow days at the office with unlimited internet access.] The official charts of this part of the Pacific show the reef as an obstruction, a few miles from the GPS coordinates for Beveridge that have been verified by cruisers. I found a few hand drawn charts online. We used the chart at to get in here today.

The entrance is located 20-00.06S, 167-46.62W. Enter on a bearing of 75 degrees magnetic. The reef is shaped like a kidney bean with the pass in the indented part of the bean facing west. When the swell is up like it is today, there is ton of water moving out of the lagoon through the pass. We were pushing a 3.5 knot current coming in the pass this morning.

We were concerned about how the conditions would be inside the reef with such a strong sea running, but tucked behind the windward edge of the reef, it is relatively calm. There is a bit of wind chop, but no swell to speak of. The latest GRIB file calls for several more days of this overcast, windy weather. We are planning to stay here for a while to explore, and are hoping that the wind and swell will die down while we are here. In the meantime, we'll just enjoy being at anchor. We'll do some cooking (to make sure that any weight we might have lost on the passage doesn't stay lost) and put the boat back in order.

No comments: