The sun rising behind Lord Howe Island’s dramatic peaks was quite a sight this morning. I spotted Mts. Lidgbird and Gower from more than 40 miles off at about 0500. These two dramatic 2000+ foot peaks are as impressive as anything we’ve seen in the South Pacific.
As the sun rose and we motorsailed closer in the light breeze, we could see the rest of Lord Howe Island, as well as Ball’s Pyramid, a single pointed rock jutting out of the ocean, about 13 miles south of Lord Howe. All in all, it was a beautiful morning, accentuated by a spectacular and exotic landfall. (Piccies will follow)
We were met at the southern entrance to The Lagoon by Clive Wilson and his grandson in a sturdy looking twin-engine launch. Clive must know the “bottom-ography” of the waters around Lord Howe like the back of his hand. He guided us through the shallow pass with a series of turns until we were through the reefs awash in the southwest swell. With depth nary a foot or two deeper than “Moonshadow’s” keel, the “pucker factor” was high.
We anchored for a couple of hours just inside the pass, awaiting the high tide when Clive returned from a bit of fishing with his granson. He then led us to a mooring area near the center of The Lagoon and closer to “town.” With depths showing just inches under our keel, the pucker factor was raised a notch or two. Our faith in Clive was warranted, as we didn’t touch the sand and coral bottom and made it safely to a very heavy duty mooring inside the protection of the barrier reef.
The island itself is quite lush, completely covered in a variety of greenery ranging from grass to eucalypt bush and palm trees to Norfolk Island pines.
With beaches, hiking trails and the world’s southernmost coral reef, there is plenty to see and do here. Tim pulled out his surfboard and waxed it up in anticipation of a strong sou-westerly that should bring some nice waves tomorrow. We plan to spend at least a few days exploring the island, depending on the arrival of weather that will suit our passage northeast to Noumea.