Check out our 6 minute video sailing to the South Pacific. It chronicles the past year from sailing the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Panama, the 30 day passage to French Polynesia, scuba and drift diving in the Tuamotus, and the Un-Cut BLOOPER where Nina fell OFF THE BOAT!
South Pass wall of sharks
Boy o’ boy, have we come a long way in the past few months. When I had my first shark encounter alone being circled by a curious black tip, I admit, my heart raced as I thought, what should I do now? Then promptly swam right back to Enjoy to quickly get out of the water. We educated ourselves about the different types of sharks and reassured ourselves with statistics on the 6 attacks reported since 1924.
So, when we had a chance to experience the No. 2 dive listed on Top Dive Sites in the World we dove on it 😉 The Fakarava South Pass is truly an incredible experience. Not only did we get to do a two-tank dive with the Enata Fakarava Diving in this a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, we did two drift snorkles down the pass with Don holding a line off the dinghy.
Diving this Tumakohua Pass at 2 knots speed, we saw hundreds of grey reef sharks, black tip sharks and nurse sharks on the bottom but no hammerhead, lemon, or white top sharks in rows from 90′ up to 20′, huge Napoleon Wrasses, and the 1/2 mile long x 500′ wide pass was lined with living coral formations on both sides that were varied in type albeit not as colorful as the corals we’ve seen in the Bahamas. This was the first time we dove with nitrox versus air, and they gave me a smaller bottle which was much more comfortable to dive with instead of the 80 liter bottles, especially since I always use less air than others.
We saw many more sharks on our first dive, which was an incoming tide. Our second dive was an outgoing tide, and there were significantly less sharks, but many fish no the less that were beautiful. Apparently, the pelagics like being lazy, and feeding on the plankton that grow inside the atoll that have to pass via one of two passes (South or North) to leave the reef. I guess more pass out than in, and the sharks know it!
Drive snorkeling with our dinghy
We also drift snorkeled the South pass on an outgoing tide, with many black tip sharks passing over us but no grey reef sharks, and then in the area between the Red and Green buoys right inside the lagoon, since there was still amazing coral formations and sea life. Some of the sea life included moray and wolf eels, Titan triggerfish, yellowfin goatfish, emperor angle fish, trumpetfish, groupers, clownfish, snappers, and more. Check out Jacaranda’s blog for their photos of the area; they had a better underwater camera then our Gopro!
Titan triggerfish attack
Sooo, while everyone’s scared of sharks, Don and I went snorkeling during triggerfish mating season. We didn’t realize we were swimming over their nest.
Big mistake! An angry male rammed Don and sunk it’s human like teeth into him. This is a picture after a few days.
Check out this angry triggerfish video which shows great pictures of the angry eye and mouth of a Titan Trigger fish.
Closing up ENJOY for cyclone season
We’ve closed up sailing Enjoy for cyclone season and are in the US now. We had Enjoy hauled by a four-wheel drive backhoe up a concrete ramp by Apataki Carénage Services (great article about the carenage here). Then we proceeded to remove and wash all canvas and most running rigging, sails, changed engine and generator oil, closed all openings so rats and mice don’t enter, and removed the anchor chain and anchor. Later, the carenage should be tying ENJOY down with 4 concrete filled tires in case 2023-24 El Nino brings high winds to this tiny atoll in the middle of the ocean.
Captain Nez cozy sailing mystery series
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