19 – 27 May 2016: Sth East Kauehi, Tuamotus – 15 57S 145 04W
Time for Underwater Adventures
Skipper had enjoyed snorkelling with the sharks in Raroia, (personally I am quite happy with all the colourful little tropical fish with much smaller mouths) so we went in search of sharks. We moved Balvenie from the village anchorage in Kauehi down the lagoon to the southeast corner and anchored in yet another superb spot.
Preliminary underwater investigations in the neighbourhood found some excellent live coral bommies with a huge array of fish but no sharks. So we went on a long dinghy excursion right along the southern motus west to the last teeny one where we found one palm tree and a small wrecked sailboat ashore and several small black tip sharks in the shallows. Now we just had to find their mums and dads - and we did! We left the dinghy on the beach off the adjacent motu, donned masks and flippers and off we went.
A colourful bommie here, another there, hundreds of fish over there, just like being in an aquarium, magical. Then a big black tip spotted, another there, gosh more over there – think we just entered the aquariums shark tank! They started just swimming by, minding their own business, then the numbers increased and they got curious and came back for another look. When we had 7 circling us we were starting to feel like we were being eyed up as “catch of the day” and made a speedy retreat back to land – just in case!
We made several stops in the dinghy on our return to Balvenie, the bommies were colourful and the fish life plentiful, we only spotted one other shark, so maybe we had entered their territory and they hadn’t liked the intrusion! We found one bommie covered in Christmas Tree Worms, they are multi-coloured and if you get your fingers close they close entirely up and just disappear, fun to do.
At the bottom of one bommie tucked away in recess was a chunky eel, he poked his head out for a quick look at us then quickly squirmed backwards into his hiding place.
In between our busy schedule of snorkelling there was time for games of boules ashore – made somewhat challenging due to the extremely uneven foreshore. The nearby sandy spit became the perfect spot for sundowners or pot luck dinners around an open fire, a great way for us all to get together at the end of the day. We had a great bunch of cruisers, a stunning anchorage and a superb spell of weather, just magic.
Time to Head for the Tuamotus Most Famous Atoll - Fakarava