Diving in Mo’orea brings us up close and personal with over a dozen turtles and many curious fish. It had been a long time since I dove. Like almost 3.5 years, since Galapagos. I was more than a bit anxious, but I was diving with Matt and two of our friends who each have hundreds of dives and safety certifications. Our goal was to find Rachel’s friend “Sonny” who is a racoon butterfly fish and a turtle or 12.
We load all the dive gear in Sweetie and head to the pass. There are a few floats to tie our dinghies. We jump in and my stomach is full of butterflies. We descend slowly and I can see the coral bottom clearly. It is not far, maybe 20 meters (60’). Once I remember to stop exhaling through my nose, I get a little more comfortable. The air exhaled through my nose caused my mask to separate from my face which leaked water down my cheeks. It was a back and forth I played with my mask before I figured it out. Yep, a little out of practice.
Sonny immediately comes out to join us. He is a raccoon butterfly fish that Rachel met 2 years ago. Every time she dives this spot, she has an interaction with him. It is really quite amazing to see their relationship in person as I’ve watched it blossom on her Instagram account (moore_rachel). He is a curious little guy and thoroughly checked out Matt before returning to Rachel.
Turtles, Turtles, Turtles everywhere
We don’t have to swim far to spot our first turtle as they are everywhere! They are perched on top of the coral…see the yellow fish hiding under his back flipper?
Just hanging out, resting
Resting their little heads on top of the coral as if it were a comfy pillow
This just doesn’t look comfortable to me…but he is clearly in the “zone.”
Some blend in with the coral
And others sandwich themselves under the coral. I wonder how he will get out of this predicament?
We caught a few as they were heading up to get a sip of air.
We also come across a beautiful porcupine puffer who seemed to be challenging Matt.
Rachel and Josh from Agape (Voyages of Agape).
You might remember my blog about the very special Turtle Sanctuary, Te Mana O Te Moana. They rescue turtles from all over French Polynesia. I wonder if any of these beauties are around as a result of their rescue mission.
We jam Cruiser style in our last blog. Events from this blog post occurred the end of September. Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.