|A dream garden|
We love this underwater coral reef. It joins two islands: Vaka’eitu and Nuapapu. If you anchor by Vakai’etu, you can take your dinghy to a nearby beach. 1 It’s a little intimidating to cross the shoal to go snorkel the deeper coral garden on the other side. The surf can build there and as it crashes it can send you tumbling back as you attempt to cross the shallow expanse. That surf has turned more than one would-be snorkeler around. It’s a bit of a rite of passage.
We made it through okay the first time. And once we arrived to the other side, we spent nearly 3 hours exploring the coral and pointing excitedly at new (to us) fish species. This place reminded us a little of the Tuamotus.
The next day, Rick wasn’t feeling well. I decided to go snorkel on my own. I knew a few snorkelers were already on the other side and I thought I’d join them. When I first arrived at the beach and saw the size of the surf, I gulped. That day was windier, and the waves were much bigger. I decided to go for it. Too bad my timing was poor: I got my a** kicked by two big waves. I was about to admit defeat, (one has to wonder how good an idea it was to cross that bit alone). Luckily the SV Dragonsbane crew came along to dive the reef and by then, the waves had become a little less daunting (perhaps it was the company). I joined their crew, and crossed over to the magic garden once more.
|A kettle fish? (I don't have my fish bible beside me)|
|A new variety of Hawkfish|
|Nemo's cousin: An Anemonefish|
|Enjoying the scenery|
|More Anenomefish, (I think I'm in love)|
|This is my kind of garden...|
|This one we'll name Rex. He showed me his teeth.|
1 The Vaka’eitu anchorage is referred to as Anchorage #16 by the Moorings charter company.