Taha’a is full of sorts of hidden treasures and gems. In this blog we will take you on our journey of the coral gardens drift snorkel and we will explore a small, private hotel called La Pirogue on Ilot Moute. We swim in crystal clear waters and I get attached by a sea cucumber.
Among many other riches, Taha’a is famous for their coral gardens. We have had the extreme joy of swimming the coral gardens several times. We just can’t get enough of the unique beauty. Our friends on Agape did not have a chance to drift the gardens so we encouraged them to try again. We each left Bora Bora with a heading toward Taha’a and met at the Coral Gardens anchorage.
The current was pretty strong when we arrived in the morning. We tied up our dinghies, swam to shore and walked the beach to the reef. We waited for the tour groups to get started before we jumped in. The current is strongest closest to the reef so you have to maneuver yourself quickly to avoid hitting the corals. In order to get photos, you have to gently grab a piece of dead coral to hold on while taking your photo. It can be tricky but exhilarating.
We found lots of sea anemones with little fish including a clown fish. It is fascinating watching the symbiotic relationship between the fish and the coral. The fish get cleaned by the sea anemone and in return the fish protect them.
We also found a little octopus, but he would not come out and pose for the camera. The top picture is his head sticking out, the middle shows him hidden from us with just his eyes and one leg showing. The bottom photo is a giant sea cucumber
Rachel took some great photos with her fancy GoPro:
The colors on the corals are so vibrant and pure.
Sushi and Wahoo for Dinner
Agape (Josh, Rachel and Nicola) came over for dinner. Rachel caught a tuna and made sushi rolls and then seared the Wahoo that we caught with John, Missy, and Carl. We had a pretty sunset and a full moon.
Locals were burning trash on shore which always looks horrible from the anchorage (top picture). But, the full moon came to brighten the night.
Ilot Moute and La Pirogue
Nicola has a flight out of Tahiti in a few days so our friends needed to get going. The next day they headed out of the pass and were met with severe weather on the nose. Not willing to put up with the boat bashing and slow slog, they met us at a new anchorage on the Northeast side of Taha’a. This will be a good launching point for both of us to leave towards Tahiti and Huahine. Another cruiser had told Matt about a little island called ilot Moute with a teeny tiny hotel called La Pirogue.
La Pirogue is situated on an island surrounded by jade waters. It houses 4 bungalows and can accommodate 8 guests at a time. The owners live on a boat moored in front of the hotel. Cecile runs the day to day operations along with her husband and a maid. Cecile was kind enough to let us come onshore and partake in some libations.
Approaching La Pirogue from the anchorage. Don’t you love their welcome sign?
It is a quaint and peaceful setting, with thatched roof, raked sand, comfortable seating areas. Their weather station warms my heart. Life is so simple here.
It was pretty hot, so I soaked my feet in the clear blue water. I was running my feet along the sand when I unburied something. A rock, piece of coral, wood or treasure? No! A sea cucumber who was so agitated from my rubbing that he launched his defense mechanism. What do you ask is that? He spits out his guts and intestines. White, noodle things. By the time I realized what was happening they were wrapped around my toes. I was horrified! Rachel came and helped me out, but YUCK! I can’t look at sea cucumbers the samw way and just did not want to touch them anymore. After a dip in the waters, Rachel rinsed off under the coconut shower head.
We so enjoyed our time at La Pirogue.
We Celebrate Josh’s Birthday
The next day was Josh’s birthday! We all went back to La Pirogue to park our dinghies. Cecile had mentioned good snorkeling by the reef and we wanted to see it. You could either walk in 2’ of water through the sea cucumber field or swim it. Since my sea cucumber attack, I was hesitant to go anywhere near them, yet they were everywhere. Thank goodness the corals were amazing or I would have climbed back on shore.
The corals were healthy and vibrant. All inviting you to come closer and take a look at their little community.
We found several Christmas trees nestled in the coral along with many gorgeous lipstick colored clams. Check out this lizard fish sitting on top of the coral head.
After a great snorkel, we headed to another islet. Matt and I explored this small islet the day before when it was packed with locals. It has a cement slab and rebar arches and that is about it. But, it was pretty darn cool to hang out on the rocks in the middle of the ocean.
Agape invited us over to celebrate Josh’s birthday. Rachel made a really tasty turkey dinner and confetti cake with lemon frosting. Happiest of Birthday’s Josh!