Time flies, it’s a month since my last post. We’ve been enjoying Moorea, sharing our time between Baie de Opunohu and Vaiare, the latter on the E coast of the island. On average we spend close to four hours a day in the water, one session in the morning and another in the a-noon. The two lagoon anchorages at Vaiare offers particularly nice snorkeling with colorful forests of coral, and a fabulous variety of fish. We’ve had some strong trade wind conditions lately(yeah, during cyclone season!) so quite a current in the lagoon always keeping the boat pointed in the same direction night and day. No need to spend much time directing solar panels!
Due to the current, a typical snorkel session starts with a swim to the reef, to windward and against the current about half a mile or so, and then we just drift back with the current while diving on an off to check whatever pops up on our way. The water is about 28C so the wetsuits not needed, it’s simply wonderful to be able to really ‘skin dive’. Not even cold after a couple of hours in- and under- water. I’ve started playing around with the ‘submarine camera’ a bit, but internet access is more scarce than ever. Hope to be able to upload some photos to Flickr soon enough.
In about a week it’s time for Isa to revisit her doctor again, and we will probably head over to Tahiti soon, and definitely before the end of March. I am in the process of getting quotes for our new standing rigging( all the wires, and other hardware holding the mast upright and straight, quite important stuff on a boat and pricy too, unfortunately). The plan is to replace it all before the official end of the hurricane season and then go exploring the Leeward Islands, Raiatea, Huahine and others. We’ll see how it works out.
almost over, we both still have some pain in feet and hands, but definitely manageable.
the cupruous bottom paint that’s supposed to keep marine life from sticking to, and growing on, Nannas hull. A bit over three months since we relaunched after the haul-out, and nothing yet! Actually seems like we finally might have got a paint worth the name…. ‘ antifouling’…. To be followed
My free diving record:
Very pleased to be able to say that I daily descend to 20-25 ft (6-7 m) quite effortlessly, seems like my left ear finally got ‘unplugged’ of sorts. This brings me great pleasure, since I just love to be underwater, swimming upside down, playing around like a dolphin. The feeling of being relieved of the effects of gravity never stops thrilling me. Thanks to a strong heart and big lungs, I can hold my breath 2 minutes which is perfectly fine, albeit a wee bit shy of a dolphin ;)
The deepest spot I found so far was our anchor at 25ft or 7,5 mts to go deeper I would need to dive in the deepest parts of the lagoon, around 30-35 mrs, but I could do with longer fins to descend, the ones I have now, bought in a thrift store in Portugal, are just for swimming around a bit really. I checked the gear of some of our friends in the Gambiers who regularly descend to 30-40 mrs working on the pearl farms and those fins are 2-3 times longer than my toys! Will take a look at the store in Papeete which are specialized in this kind of gear and spear guns.
Talking about spearguns, btw, quite a few people here go fishing ‘sous-marine’ at night(!) with a strong headlamp. Now this seems a bit spooky to me, what with those big sharkies and their impressive teeth?! Some do this at a professional level, and they tell me the fish are ‘asleep’ ( or perhaps just blinded by the light?) and thus easier to catch…. Others tell me that it’s due to this night fishing, that there’s less and less fish in the lagoon of Tahiti. Sounds plausible to me, and we can easily see that there are rarely a fish over 20-25cm on the lagoon side of the reef, just what I would call the limit for a Pansize fish. Go figure…
I believe PGEM, who are taking steps to protect the marine life, will have to completely protect larger parts of the lagoons in order to keep the diversity of species.
On another note, the last few weeks, the gendarmerie(police) have arrested a few people for poaching sea turtles. If found guilty, they’ll find themselves behind bars for about a year. This is a bit controversial, since sea turtles are a part of the traditional diet in Polynesia, and everyone I’ve had the pleasure of spending some time with, have confirmed how tasty the meat is, and that it’s always been regarded as the most delicious ‘beef’ there is. It’s worth noting here that historically, meat has been very rare at a dinner party. They had pigs here, but they were considered property of the royals in the old days, much like the moose, and other big game, back in Sweden. So except for an occasional chicken, fish was the major source of animal protein on the islands.