Moorea Diving…..

Dear F&F,

We headed outside the reef, it was sunny & calm. A dive company with guests
zoomed past us, so we followed their lead to a good spot. We anchored not
far from them & swam up current for a while. We saw a few black tip reef
sharks & lemon sharks. Lemons are all grey, girthy & 8-9 feet long. Yes: we
wore our shark shields. I was kind of hoping one of the lemons would swim
close enough so I could watch its aversion reaction to my shield, but they
kept their distance.

When we swam back toward our dinghy we saw that the dive master for the
group was doing a shark feeding. They taunt them with fish heads. It
attracted swarms of small fish as well as a few dozen black tips & one lemon
shark. We decided to stay & watch the show. Scott was frustrated that he did
not have his camera. But the folks that had cameras sure got some good shots
of feeding behavior. What amazes me the most is when the fish head is
finally given to or snatched by the shark, it swallows the thing whole. A
good 15-20 inch diameter fish head, mostly skin & bones, swallowed in one
bite. They did this routine several times. They claim it is such little
nutrition that it does not train the sharks to rely on these feedings. It
clearly changes their behavior, so we are not fans of the practice, but it
is common in all tourist areas with sharks.

When we were ready to go back for a second dive, the wind picked up & there
were whitecaps outside the reef, so we decided to tie up to a mooring near
the pass, inside the reef. The water clarity was not good. Like swimming in
a cloud of dust. But we saw a wide variety of creatures that made it a
fantastic dive. First we saw a black tip reef shark. Then we observed a
large number of dart fish which are pretty and fun to watch hovering over
their homes (holes in rocks or sand) then dart down into them when we
approach their territory. There was a stone fish that sat so still and is so
well camouflaged you have to really focus to identify his fishy features. A
major highlight was seeing about 10 big beautiful anemones, all with clown
fish. They were clumped in one area. It makes you wonder what is different
about that part of the reef that they thrive just there? We always enjoy
seeing eels. Their funny faces remind me of the song \”Puff the Magic
Dragon\”. A turtle did not swim away from us, but lingered for us to get a
good look. The spaghetti worm has long pasta-like tentacles that splay out
several yards like confetti. We saw two kinds of nudibranchs we\’d never seen
before and a pipe fish, which are not that common.

Both dives were easy, a short dinghy ride from where the big boat is
anchored and we get to go again tomorrow. I am loving life! You can be sure
that we will be coming to Moorea many times over the next 5 months!

We hear children laughing as they play in the shallow water as parents sit
under the palm trees. Sunday seems to be family day around the world. Two
other catamarans left today, there are only 2 monohull sailboats anchored
far away. It is times like these that makes it all worthwhile. I am so
grateful that we are having this good experience early on in the \”off\”
season. Between here & Tahiti, it seem a good place to linger. All the
conveniences of dock life, but \”getting away\” is easy too. Fantastic.

Cindy & Scott