Swimming with sharks and stingrays. 17:29.3S, 149:52.7W

Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Thu 10 Aug 2017 21:09

We spent Sunday relaxing in Cook’s Bay, then on Monday morning went to take on fuel at the jetty across the road from the Mobil fuel station.  Our yachtsman’s guide to French Polynesia said there was 4m of water off the end of the jetty, but our charts showed 1.2m (a bit too shallow for us) so we nosed our way in gently and happily the guide was correct.



Cooks Bay



The fuel jetty, tucked into an inlet on the north side of the bay


Full up with duty free fuel, we motored round to Opunohu Bay, and found ‘Bonnie’ anchored in the lagoon, on her own at the end of a narrow passage between the reefs, and gingerly navigated our way in to join her.  We had been anchored a short while when we saw another boat coming in, it was Michael on ‘Henrietta’, who had seen us on AIS, and followed us in.  We had a lovely evening on ‘Henrietta’, catching up on what we had each been doing since Panama. The water in the lagoon is beautifully clear, and you can see the bottom 6 meters down.



Our route into the anchorage is the black line, the green is reef.  Beyond where we are is uncharted territory!



This Tiki is one of a number submerged in the lagoon by a contemporary artist. It was right next to ‘Serenity’.


Yesterday, we found the track up to Magic Mountain, so walked to the top for amazing views over the lagoon and the village of Papetoai, then today we went swimming with sharks and stingrays.  Every day at 1030 the tripper boats go to a shallow patch of the lagoon so their customers can feed the rays, and we went along in our dinghy.  If you hold a piece of fish in your closed fist, the sting rays will swim up your body to get it. Phil had a go, but Sarah didn’t fancy it.  We were told not to feed the sharks, but there were a number of them about as well.



This octaganol church is the oldest building in Polynesia.  It was built in the 1870s by the London Missionary Society



The village of Papetoai



Looking down on our anchorage from the top of Magic Mountain.



Phil feeds the stingrays


The evil eye.



Sarah never really wanted to be close enough to a shark to take its photo.