360° panorama by Richard Chesher.
Click the image to open the interactive version.

Richard Chesher: When exploring the uncharted waters of the world’s largest coral reef lagoon the weather is always a concern; even when anchored in a reasonably well protected location, like the V-shaped “Coude” (Elbow) reef on the southern tip of New Caledonia’s Great South Lagoon. None of the New Caledonia reef anchorages are protected from every direction and should the wind shift in the night you could be in serious trouble before dawn. So when I woke up just at sunrise the first thing I did was go on deck to check out what the weather had in store for us. And this is what I saw – we were completely surrounded by rain squalls and towering thunderheads. Fantastic! What a magnificent sky! The dawn colors, a flock of boobies headed back towards the remains of an old wreck on the reef after a night’s fishing, and the water just glowed all around us in the dawn light. I don’t think I’ve every enjoyed such menacing looking weather so much. While I was photographing this sphere image the VHF radio weather broadcast came on and told us that it was a lovely day and we could expect light SE winds. Surprisingly, they were right and after these showers passed by the day cleared up beautifully.