We all love diving, but Frans is the real force behind our diving adventures. He fights an ongoing battle against his withdrawal symptoms when we don’t dive enough.
He was determined to do as many dives as possible at Bora-Bora. Even so, it took us a while to orient ourselves and find the “right” diving spots. Our first search attempt included a very looooong and uncomfortable dingy ride that covered a vast distance. And where did we end up diving? Within sight of the anchored Shang Du!
It was a good dive site and we came back to it a few times. It is here that the Eagle Rays do their regular flying pass. They fly by in a large group with the slow up and down flapping of their “wings”. They make it seem so effortless while they move through the water, but just try to catch up with them! Their speed is deceptive and even their casual ballet leave us far behind. Just as you imagine that you are catching up to one, straining and panting with the effort, it gives an imperceptible flick of the body and disappears.
We never did find the elusive Manta Ray station and until proven otherwise, we are going to believe that someone mixed up their Eagle Rays and Mantas.
On our dives we saw many different types of fish. Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Surgeon fish etc. Also, for the first time in the Pacific, we encountered Anemones and Anemone fish.
We love to hover in single spots and look for little things as well as the big things. In Bora-Bora we were astounded to see how many groups of divers passed us, swimming fast and going places. There are many dive operators using those reefs and we felt very grateful that we could set our own pace and watch the incredible sea life happen around us.
We quickly realised that the fish here were used to being fed. As soon as we descended, many of them would swim right up to us to see what we brought. Not the usual fishy behaviour. So, the next time, we made sure that we took some cooked rice. You can see the result in the next photo: It was especially the Clown trigger fish that gobbled and gobbled and gobbled.
The dive spots outside the reef were well marked and it was easy for us to tie up to a buoy. We didn’t quite grasp how many charters actually use these buoys until we were coming up after our dive. Two boats were tied to the buoy next to ours and another boat was already arriving. They brought their passengers to snorkel with the fish. They throw bait to the fish to attract them to the snorkel spots. If you have ever wondered what you look like from below while snorkelling in a sea of fishes from the diver’s point of view, this is it:
Snorkelling in Bora-Bora was nearly like diving too. On our “round-the-island-with-dingy” trip, we stopped at a fabulous spot with many, many fishes.
It was here that we saw that raw fish as bait is the real deal. A resort diving instructor brought two snorkelers to that same spot and he was armed with a cache of small fish. He was really friendly and didn’t mind that we gate-crashed his feeding frenzy party. He even showed the girls a special starfish It seemed much too round to be one, yet nevertheless had the five tentacle pattern on the underside.
The downside of snorkelling is that the body cools down a lot faster and some of us just had to climb into the dingy for some heat.