The visibility was excellent as I back rolled from the semi-rigid boat. Temperature was about 80°F with a slow current. Perfect for a cool, calm dive! As we descended slowly along the external slope of the reef, we immediately noticed a Colorful fish multitude of colorful fish, butterfly fish, triggerfish and bannerfish playing in the waves a heady beautiful show.
At a depth of 65ft, we arrived to a labyrinth of canyons. I entered without hesitation. Many holes and coral overhangs around me hosted groups of soldier fish hidden in nooks and crannies. Numerous Lionfish were nestled along the reef slope giving a « zebra-like » landscape. Some white tip sharks were basking on the sandy bottom, waiting for anything to relieve their boredom. The canyons of Tetiaroa Diving in these canyons offers a different perspective of diving – like spelunkers in a cave expedition. I was amazed by the sunlight creeping through the corals like skylights.
Once exiting the canyons, we progressed along the reef. I couldn’t help watching at the deep waiting for a “big fish” to appear. Spotted eagle rays To our surprise, a large shoal of spotted eagle rays appeared from the deep, flying gracefully and effortlessly.
Working our way along the slope back to the surface, I came face to face with a large Humphead wrasse and its surprising hump. There were also a great barracuda overhead that kept a close eye on the area. Probably searching for prey…. With my decompression stop done along the reef, I concluded this beautiful dive. The boat skipper picked us up near the diver safety buoy. A cool and calm fun dive!
It was my first dive in Tetiaroa and I still hope to discover other breathtaking dive sites around this Polynesian sanctuary of biodiversity.
© photos – S.Girardot, P.Joachim