Thursday, May 31, 2012

Snorkeling expedition

May 31, 2012
Anchorage position: 08°49.3236'S 140°03.8678'W

Snorkeling expedition at Baie D' Anaho, Nuka Hiva

We made a 15 minute run in our dinghy about 1.5 miles out of the day to the sentinel outcrop of rock at the East entrance of Baie d' Anaho. Surf was breaking heavily at Point Motuarahi, churning the water thick with foam. Around the point the wind was too strong to contemplate safely anchoring the dinghy so we dropped in the water about one hundred feet from the point below a steep cliff that broke the wind. Underwater the cliff continued dropping out of sight into the depths. Small caves and shelves provided the habitat we thought might house lobsters. Mostly, they were full of sea urchins with long black sticky sharp spines that required diligence to avoid their painful stings as the surging waters dared you to swim into a cave. In one large underwater cave I found a rusty spear shaft, testament that despite feeling like we were in virgin territory, someone had definitely been there ahead of us. Kathy focused on cowry shells while I continued my search for lobster. We moved dive sites several times and found some interesting sights, black lipped oysters growing in the wild, large green urchins with spines the thickness of a pencil, and a huge yellow starfish that looked more like a pillow as the legs were not discernible from the pentagon shaped body. I tipped the starfish on his back and then watched in amazement as he flipped back over magically without any perceptible external movement. Kathy scored a super nice Cowry shell and after several hours of swimming we headed home for lunch.

Today we plan to hike over the ridge and into Baie D' Hatiheu to check out several archeological sites, tohua Hikoku'a a restored public plaza of several stone platforms and two other sites which are located under a huge sacred banyan tree. We might even splurge and enjoy a lunch at the local restaurant.

That's it for now.

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