We hid from a storm between Taravai and Ile Agakauitai with a few of our friends on Leela (Graham and Janicki) and Pitufa (Birgit and Christian). It was 5 days of constant rain and high winds. Strange considering it is their summer, but from what we have heard, this has been their wettest summer in 5 decades. It’s what keeps the mountains so lush and green! Below is a photo after the rain and during the rain – the entire Mt. Duff disappears.
A Walk on the Wild Side
At the first clearing, we decided to go for a walk along the ridge of Ile Agakauitai that starts at the bay and wraps around to the lagoon. Sweetie (our dinghy) has a long shaft outboard so we decided to take Leela’s dinghy with a much shallower draft. This would allow us to cross over the reef to get to the ridge. Matt and Graham tied the dinghy to a tree and then pushed her away from the rocks. Didn’t do much good as the tide brought her right back to the rocks, but what can you do? We started off walking along a fairly flat area with protected pools of water.
We came across these little inlets that I later learned from my European friends were called “tickles.”
There was this beautiful lava or rock table that had such great texture that it looked man-made. But, no, it was embedded into the rock below. Mother nature is an artist.
Awesome Lava Formations
As we turned left, around the corner leaving the bay, we started seeing a lot more pools of water. These would range from 1’-6’ in depth. It was really interesting to see the different growth in each pool – based on the amount of water coming in each one.
As we continued on our way along the ridge of Ile Agakauitai, we crossed over several lava formations. We were told that lava would come up through a crack or fisher and create these formations that looked like roads to me.
The water in some of the pools was crystal clear. In some of the photos (top two) you cannot even tell I am shooting through water. The top right is a large crab saying “hello Christine” the middle is a landslide with a fallen tree and lots of rocks.
Yep, I win for best photo sequence
We found one fairly large pool that Matt decided to take a dip in. I took this hysterical sequence of photos as he jumped in – I cannot believe I captured some of these! Matt starting out checking the depth, then assuming the position.
Things start to fall apart as he loses his form and tries to break dance on the surface of the water.
And he gets a 10 for style points, but a 2 for splash factor.
Unfortunately, there were lots of goat heads on Ile Agakauitai. Not sure where the rest of the body ends up…
We were hiding from a strong easterly wind for several days. On the first day, we went for a snorkel with a few friends from Leela (Graham and Janicki) and Yello (Daniela). It was our first snorkel near Ile Agakauitai and it was really interesting with shallow reefs and a good variety of fish.
We anchored the dinghy in a little sandy patch and jumped in. We swam over the large reef in about a ½ meter of water. It was really cool to see the little fish, crabs, and sea creatures in the nooks and crannies of the reef.
I found this purple lipped clam that was sewn into a two-layer coral shelf with half of its body on the upper shelf and the half on the lower shelf.
INSERT PURPLE CLAM
As you continue to swim along the reef, you come across these large pockets or areas that dive 10-15 meters deep. Here you will find the large napoleons, angels, and groupers. There were several that were well over a meter in length.
Lots of large coral tables or shelves, not sure what they are called, but it looks like you could sit down to tea. And they come in all sorts of colors.
I tracked several fun looking fish. I found these four dual colored fish. Half their bodies were one color and the other half another. Maybe juveniles? And of course, a little puffer fish.