Many of these motus are just flat specs of land covered in dead coral and broken shells. But there are a few with bushes, trees, and a few palm trees. We anchored in front of Two Palm island. It is one of our favorite places. Last year we called it three palm island. However, when we returned this year we had to rename it as it lost one of its palm heads.
We found another motu with one palm and decided to do a short exploration. I say short because it is super small. We left Sweetie at the beach side (leeward side facing the lagoon) and walked over to the windward side where it is mostly coral. We found a fresh fish trap which is unusual as these usually show up all used and abused from the ocean.
A lovely eel was hiding in the rocks trying to be “not seen”.
The last motu we came to today as called headless palm. Poor thing lots its topper. (last photo above).
Tauna – Bird Refuge
Our friends told us about this little motu which is on the southern side of the lagoon in the Gambiers. We found a beautiful, sandy spot in 3 meters of water to drop the anchor. The motu is almost surrounded by a reef. You have the large archipelago reef on the windward side and two small reefs on the lagoon side. The waters are stunning.
It did not take us long to hop on the paddle boards to head to shore. This is one of the rare motus that actually has a sandy beach. Usually they are covered in broken coral or sea shells. We ventured around the entire motu which took all of 15 minutes.
It was so nice to walk on the beach and sit in the shallow waters. Just soaking up the beauty of the island. The island has a lot of “walking trees” and low bushes for the birds to nest in.
This little motu is a bird refuge and has its own headless palm tree. We are still in quarantine and it appears so are the birds.
The birds were not too happy to have us on their motu. They flew all around making all sorts of noise.
In the northern end of the Gambiers are several little motus or islands. They are all uninhabited and surrounded by large coral heads (bommies) and the reef. Many will be gone in the years to come with the beating of the ocean slowly eroding the sand and foundation of the sandy spits. But for now, the snorkeling around these motus is pretty good.
During the quarantine period, we would hop on the paddle boards to a new motu or bommies. Drop the anchor to secure the boards in one place and snorkel with the sea life. On this particular day it was choppy so the photo of the boards above water is not so great. But the photo below shows our little dinghy anchor and the undersides of the boards.
There was a large school of blue parrot fish swimming around. It would have been great if we had the spear gun out – dinner!
Some really interesting coral formations including tables, brains, bommies (bottom photo).
A white tip shark followed us around which was a bit unnerving. He had 4 yellow fish that led him around by the nose. It was rather amusing when looking back on it. Why would they trust the shark not to eat them?