Featured on BBC’s series “Blue Planet II,” the coral reefs of French Polynesia host a very rare spectacle to see. Up to 18,000 Marbled Grouper fish migrate to the atoll Fakarava every July, at the full moon high tide. 1,000 grey reef sharks fill this Tuamotu archipelago in search of one thing: these marbled grouper, who have come to spawn. The sharks’ typically feed at night and gentle swim at rest in the day. The sharks live here year round, as it’s an easy place to rest, gently floating in the 3 knot current of the incoming or outgoing tides.
Sharks feeding behavior becomes unpredictable and erratic as darkness falls and the hunt begins, making for an extremely complex, exciting scuba dive. Some fish are lucky to escape the hungry jaws of the sharks.
Kathy here, I did it! Finally I conquered my irrational fear of scuba diving! Yesterday I dove 93 feet! Years ago in college, while in the cold waters of Southern California, I got certified to scuba dive and I hadn’t put a dive tank on in 30 years. My fears hadn’t been of the unknown or scary creatures, it’s been more about breathing and claustrophobia while scuba diving. It became kind of a big “thing”. I have been enjoying snorkeling so much these last few years, I just put it off. Finally I just went for it. A few practice dives under our boat in 20 feet of water and I realized that all is well and to stay focused on the beauty. Well, French Polynesia is the perfect place for scuba diving. So clear, such beauty, I love it! Fakatava South Pass is a famous dive location and Top Dive filled our scuba tanks daily. Most friends back home are amazed at the hundreds of sharks and overwhelming amount of healthy coral! Our scuba diving friends and bloggers on We Sail showed us a cool cave, too. Going back for more today.
Here are a couple of scenes from Fakarava South Pass. We scuba dove daily for 4 weeks. Snorkeling too. Its so beautiful here with 85 degree temperatures and 80 degree waters. July is in the winter months here at about latitude 17 degrees south of the Equator. Rainy season is French Polynesian Summer, but still beautiful and warm. But, look out for Cyclones in December through March in the South Pacific Islands.
But what was really exciting were the SHARKS!!
Tahiti is next. Look for beautiful Island photos and posts about Heiva, the fantastic annual Cultural Festival.