Drawaqa Island

Lars Alfredson
Sat 3 Aug 2013 09:27

Pos 17:10.35S 177:11.26E


20130802 Friday


Its pouring with rain this morning so thoughts of going ashore are abandoned and as soon as it stops we up anchor and are off to Drawaqa Island. This route takes us through the water where we had the great encounter with the Dolphins last time.


The normal route appears to be through the channel between Narara and Laukacu on the one side and Nanuya Baluu on the other. But we want to be adventurous and opt to travel up the east coast of Nanuya Baluu and go for the tiny gap between it and Drawaqa Island. The charts offer differing opinions as to whether one can get through, so taking a picture from Google earth to help spot the reefs and check their accuracy we venture forth.


I feel a bit like Mark Twain as I’m “Lashed” to the pulpit to reef spot and visually check the depth in the clear waters. As the islands close in and we approach the barrier reef I call back to the cockpit for the actual depth. The 25 metres rapidly becomes 8,7,6,5,4.5,4,4,4,4.5,4.5,5,6,7, and then were through.


Anchored just off a sandy beach in 6 metres were surrounded by reefs and in the bay on this side is a Cruise ship and lots of attendant motorboats. They are joined briefly by the “Yellow Peril” The catamaran that services the Yamanuca Island and runs like the local bus.


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                    Biggish Cruiseship                                                                                             Smallish Cruiseship




The small boats disgorge their passengers and luggage and return to base as the big Cat takes off in a mist of spray as its powerful engines come up to speed.


We notice many snorkelling boats disappearing around the headland not far from us and decide to investigate. Wow!! The most fantastic reef falls off into a deep channel of crystal clear water and its teaming with fish.


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                                  Parrotfish?                                                                                                   Coral




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                                          ?                                                                                                                     Trumpetfish (Aulostomus chinensis)


Shan joins us for a while and then decides to get back into the dinghy which Lars (Despite the extra load) is towing and going like a train. The snorkelling is so good we hardy notice we have swum nearly a kilometre all the way back to the boat.


Just as I’m about to finish filming and turn out to the boat I come across a flotilla of Cuttlefish that take up station a metre away from and start performing their synchronised antics. Their so close I can reach out and touch them and get some good footage.


I’m on Barbie duty tonight as we settle down to a steak some nice music from Celine Dion and one of Oz’s best reds or two…..




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