Paradise bay 2

2015-08-14 It’s always a relief in the morning to find we’re still safely anchored despite the unnerving  grating sound of the anchor chain dragging across the rocky bottom during the night.

This morning we decide to go ashore and look for the lagoon we were told is hidden behind the trees on the shore line. Finding the small inlet between sections of mangroves, we have to abandon the dinghy as the sandbar rises and being low tide cuts off the entrance leaving only few inches of water.

Over the side and it’s a pleasant wade along the sandy bottom and shoreline until it opens out into a large lake of water surrounded by trees. The shallows are full of small fish including some very odd Blenny type fish that hop along the shore from puddle to puddle with amazing speed.

Checking the reef on our way back we pick up our gear and return to snorkel, running the dinghy up onto the beach and tying it to a handy tree. Fantastic, the reef drops sharply though there’s only a slight tide race letting us drift along through the “fish soup” as we glide along ignored by its inhabitants.

This area, with its strong currents and consequently nutrient rich environment, has produced one of the finest sites we’ve snorkelled both in terms of fish, hard corals, and the softer varieties that waft and pulse enjoying the feast that flows over them.

Shan is feeling the cold and returned to the dinghy which is now surrounded by a group of small children and a family from the nearby houses.

When we return she has something for us to see, Kate has one of her father’s carvings. “Not another one!” says I. “You’ll like this one,” she says, and she is right, it’s a magnificent work of art. It’s a War canoe, beautifully carved and detailed complete with its paddles. Despite my vowing not to buy another souvenir, I bargain and the deal is done, one more boat for my collection.

After lunch we set out across the maelstrom produced by the tide flowing and upwelling through the channel, searching, yet again for the elusive Manta rays. We try drifting with the tide, being mercilessly bounced in the confused seas where the opposite flows meet as well as floating over the slick flat upwelling’s which let us see to the bottom up to 20 metres below in this clear water.

Failing, we return to drown our sorrows with a G&T, with our usual good timing, it’s happy hour!

Another day in Paradise officially known by its other names of Mbokonumbeta or “Sand fly Island”.

Bob the Blog