We are now anchored next to the western pass of Tahanea and used the opportunity to snorkel the pass yesterday and this morning. The amount of fishies in the pass is just amazing. In the deep water (about 10 m) we saw big groups of grey reef sharks and white tip reef sharks (the biggest we’ve seen so far) hunting swarm fish together with tuna and groupers almost as big as the sharks themselves. In the shallower areas the colours and variety of the coral is mindboggling and small reef fishies in all colours (butterflies, trigger fish, surgeon fish, parrots, etc.) are packed so tight that animal rights group would protest if it was an aquarium…

On the way back we trolled a lure behind the dinghy. At the first attempt we caught a grouper we could hardly lift into the dinghy. We didn’t really know what to do with that giant (more than 1 m) and in the end we released him back into the water (we used a single hook so hardly any damage done). At the second attempt we caught a fish so big that when we tried to roll in the line he pulled the dinghy backwards through the pass–thank goodness the hook bent open and we didn’t have to deal with that unknown monster. We bent the hook back in shape and at the third attempt we finally caught a reasonably sized grouper and had sashimi shortly after we got back home.

Cleaning fish in an anchorage of course attracts sharks and we have a group of 10 black tips circling Pitufa. They freak out as soon as bits of fish hit the water, but the resident surgeon fish under our boat are usually faster and snap the pieces away before the sharks can get there ;-)


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