Tuesday, 21 May 2013

here fishy fishy

Hanamoenoa, Tahuata. Enough said 
It took a few seconds before the alarm bells went off. At first, my heart skipped a beat and I froze.

We had just anchored in beautiful Hanamoenoa Bay on Tahuata Island. I had donned my snorkelling gear and jumped in the water to check the anchor. As I followed the anchor chain from the surface, I finally spotted the anchor. I readied myself to dive down for a closer look, when I caught a movement from the corner of my eye. Below me, a dark shape swam into view and my brain paused. I registered the outline.

I thought, "I know what that is." Just then, it veered course and looked up at me. I popped my head out of the water and shouted incoherent syllables in my snorkel at Rick, who was sitting nearby in our dinghy. I splashed my way to the dinghy and hoisted myself up in one fluid, if not graceful, motion. After ripping my mask and snorkel off, I sputtered, "Shark! There was a shark. In the water - RIGHT there! Oh my god, a shark."

There are many shark species in the South Pacific. Some can be aggressive and dangerous, others are shy and avoid you. I don't know which one my buddy was. I was too busy getting my plump ass out of range. I have since pored over our fish books but still, I'm not sure. He was somewhere between 4 and 5 feet, he was dark grey and well, he looked sharky.

Later that day, we went snorkelling in the nearby reefs. While we kept an eye out for the shark, all we saw were fishes that were at the most, 12 inches long. Twelve inches, now that's manageable.

A tought nut to crack
Content to be on solid ground

This is what dreams are made of...

And this...

Sharks be damned, the hull
needs a scrub!
A common sight

In his element

We like this size...


  1. It's good to read your updates, and see all of your great pictures.

    400 francs a kilo give me a break! Obviously someone feels you should do your own dirty laundry, but they'll do it for you but you'll pay dearly.


  2. That is expensive $4.32 in US $, for 2 lbs of clothes or about $2.00 per lb. But from what I am reading about French Polynesia food and fuel are more expensive there too. Compared to the rest of the south Pacific.

  3. By the way I have done some SCUBA diving in the South Pacific and the most common sharks are the black tipped variety. They are curious and will get very close to you but normally aren't aggressive. The silver tipped ones can be more aggressive. The way you can tell if they are getting excited is watch their pectoral fins (the two lower ones by the head if they are out around 45 degrees they are just cruising but if they point down they are excited. The lowered fins allow them to turn faster. The reason they will circle you is because looking at them from the side (from a fish point of view) isn't aggressive but head on is. I used to take a lot of underwater photos. If you want to get pictures from other then above or a tail swimming away try to get sideways to them. If you have scuba just lie still on the bottom or as close to the reef as you can and don't be pointed head first at em. You can get a lot closer and get some good side or head on shots of fish. If snorkeling dive down next to them not at them.

    1. Hey Brad, thanks for the info, that's super helpful! I hope to get a good underwater shot of a shark, that would be great! I think it'll take a while before I get comfortable with it all, but the tiny bit of snorkeling we've done here in the Tuamotus so far, guaranteed we'll be in the water a lot!



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