Tricky navigation

We love Ovalau and its lively lagoon, but its shape makes sitting out strong winds rather tricky: it’s oval (hence the name maybe ;-) , there are no motu on the outer reef to hide behind, the few bays on the eastern side are all open to the east and southeast (where the prevailing winds blow from) and there’s no connection between the lagoon on the eastern side and the protected waters on the western side–if you want to get there you have to sail/motor all around the northern end of the island.

We sat out the last southeasterly on the western side of the island, but this time we didn’t want to do so many miles back and forth again. Instead we went into the lagoon on the southern side of the island, thinking that the wide outer reef there would give us enough protection. Unfortunately lots of chop came over the reef at high tide (we should have known better), so we tried plan B instead: making our way into a protected little hole, hidden behind a maze of reefs.

We found good satellite imagery for the area, but in reality the water is very murky, making navigation risky. We slowly navigated through the narrow channels with the reefs lurking left and right, but at noon on a sunny day Christian as look-out on the bow could just make them out, we safely made it in and were rewarded with calm waters and beautiful views!

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