Daily Archives: July 24, 2015

On swimming with sharks

I saw the movie, I bet you did too. All you have to hear is doh-dit, doh-dit and the few hair follicles I have left stand up on end, along with a certain pucker.

So, when friends in the anchorage at the famous southern pass in Fakarava suggested a drift snorkel through the pass, yours truly smiled and I heard myself say “sure” but in my head I was hearing DOH-DIT-DOH-DIT. Nothing official dear Escapees, just you, a dinghy or two, sharks, and all your soft and tender bits dangling in the water at, let’s say, lunch height.

The concept is simple. You gather a couple of idiots in a dinghy, run out to the entrance of the pass just as slack tide changes to flood, not too far because that’s where the big hungry boys hang waiting for handouts, slip into the food chain and drift through the pass into the lagoon. Alex from Enki II kindly agreed to follow us in his dink. I suppose he could pick up any remains if worse came to worst.  

 We abandoned the dink in mid-stream which found us right above a sand covered one hundred foot deep trough running down the center of the pass. Immediately I saw three of the brutes silhouetted against that sand, slowly patrolling the deep trough, DOH-DIT-DOH-DIT, PUCKER. DO NOT PANIC! I take a certain amount of pride in what I hoped looked like a serene, controlled looking stroke over toward the colorful coral-covered edges of the pass where I found Marce and company enjoying an amazing array of colorful fish of all shapes and sizes none of which I can name.  

 After oohing, aahing, and pointing at all the crazy creatures in the pass we found ourselves shivering in the cool water. Alex helped us into the dink and we set about finding lunch and a beer at a tiny dive shop-bar on the lagoon side.  

The manager said there’s no beer here, go to the red roof for lunch so we started on an adventure of discovery but found a largely abandoned group of buildings, an old coral church circa 1873, wooden foot bridges, empty beach huts, and eventually ran out of dry land to explore. So, it was back to the dinghies, apparently in the Tuamotus it’s easier to find a shark than a beer.  



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