Exploring the island was followed by a dive in the reef pass. I was manning the galley, and so I gave that one a miss today, I didnt really mind as I have had enough up close and personal with reef sharks for the moment! The divers came back however and reported no sharks, but also very different conditions from the reef pass at Raroia - the reef was very flat and the reef life was all very small, no large fish at all and very little current. The visibility was about 30 to 40m, which Michael said was exceptional, and very good for photography - so we will be going back there tomorrow.
In the afternoon Rudi and I paddled the two kayaks over to the nearest islet. The kayaks are really great fun because you can go into very shallow water, and can even carry them over reefs, so they are great for exploring. As we paddled over to the island and up onto the shore, we felt like real castaways. We walked around the island to the seaward side and spent a happy hour beachcombing. I first began this as a child with my parents, who are avid beachcombers, and the thrill has never worn off. What makes it so exciting is that one never knows what one will find. Of course, a lot of rubbish, but often hidden in amongst it is something especially beautiful, unusual of useful. In my collection at home I have an old green glass float, a piece of intricately carved wood - which I think must be from and old boat, and many old fragments of sea washed coloured glass, china and wood which are still waiting to be made into a mosaic.
Today was no exception, almost the first thing we found
was an old bottle - it was an empty, brown glass bottle and on the bottom was
written Santori Whisky - this is Japanese whisky, and in fact Rudi and I
had visited the distillery on the island of Hokkaido back in 1996! I also picked
up some beautiful pieces of coral, bleached white by the sun.
Today for the first time we have persuaded Wilfried to go into the water on a test dive. He went with Angel and enjoyed himself so much that we are thinking of changing his name from Erdmann - Earthman to Wassermann -Waterman! Hes all ready for another dive tomorrow. This has been an ideal place for him to try it out, no sharks, clear water and very good visibility.
More news tomorrow,