sharks, sharks, sharks - Raroia Atoll, Tuamotus, Fr. P. - 18.5.2013

Sun 19 May 2013 08:57
16:14.046S 142:29.803W
sharks, sharks, sharks
Raroia Atoll, Tuamotus, Fr. P.

Today we wanted to move to the Southern part of the atoll to look for the motus (=little islands) with soft sand. The local call it sable rose - rose sand.
All the islands look absolutely gorgeous from the distance, but coming closer you see that they are covered by sharp and hard pieces of coral.
We were told it is nicer in the Southern part. After about 8nm South we stopped at an absolutely gorgeous group of islands, with hundreds of big and small coral heads in the water.
This and the fact that the bottom drops from 5 to 50 feet very quickly makes anchoring very tricky. When I dove in to check the anchor chain and the anchor I saw a few curious sharks around the boat. Within minutes, I counted 13 black tip reef sharks checking us out! Too much for my liking, especially all alone in the water.
Michael and the guys jumped in too, and we all had a most beautiful snorkel around.
Unfortunately, Michael's back, leg and knee are bothering him extremely today and are overshadowing the paradise like moments.

Now we are at the very SW end of the atoll. Anchoring is very tricky as the wind is blowing from the east, onshore to the islands behind us. And it is either very deep or very shallow here. Or if medium, then full with shallow coral heads. Finally, we have found a spot - with literally just a hand width water under the keel! Just like the German saying goes.
When we jumped into the water here, we were even more amazed by the beauty of the underwater world.
We all find it to be some of the best snorkeling grounds we've seen.

Can't wait to jump in again tomorrow morning!

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