Dangerous reef – Vuata Vatoa wrecks beche-de-mer ships; who came to Fiji from Tonga; from south, entered passage between Oges and Vatoa

The trade in beche-de-mer now began to attract ships, and soon there was as much shipping as in the best years of the sandalwood trade. but the proportion of losses was high.

Dangerous reef – Vuata Vatoa; The beche-de-mer ships usually approached Fiji from Tonga; they kept well to the south, and entered through the passage between Oges and Vatoa, which had been used by d’Urville. Vatoa is a low island, easily missed in bad weather, or at night; three miles to the south there is a dangerous reef – Vuata Vatoa – on which;

•  Oeno of Nantucket was lost in 1825, and

•  the whaler Shylock, in 1840.

Navigation among the hidden reefs was attended with great risks.

• The Valador of Valparaiso was wrecked on the coast of Bua, in 1828;

• In August, 1830, the whaler Faun, a Salem brig of 168 tons, was at Waikava, Cakandrove; and in attempting to leave the anchorage she missed stays while in the passage, drifted on to a horn of the reef, and became a total wreck.

Wreck highly profitable to the Waikava: Good weather made the wreck highly profitable to the Waikava, for they were able to salvage much of the Faun’s gear; and when, some months later, the Glide lost all her anchors and cables during a storm off Ovalau, her captain sent to buy three anchors and two chain cables from them.


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