SHARK! Dr Anne Dives In And Rockets Out In Tahiti
On an island named Mo’orea, off the coast of Tahiti, Dr Anne Small sends us her latest special correspondence – and you won’t believe what she has been up to!
Mo’orea is a high island in French Polynesia, one of the Windward Islands, part of the Society Islands, 17 kilometres northwest of Tahiti. The true spelling of Mo’orea is Mo’ore’a, which means “yellow lizard” in Tahitian: Mo’o = lizard ; Re’a = Yellow.
The spectacular island of Mo’orea off the coast of Tahiti
The crystal turquoise waters of Tahiti offer up a bounty of incredible experiences and Dr Anne wasted no time diving right in with a school of feisty black-tip reef sharks. Whilst the sharks may not be the enormous cold-water kind we find off the southern coast of Australia, they are no less exhilarating when you come face to face with them in the wild.
Dr Anne tells us, “There was a school of small reef sharks swimming around us. I needed some persuading to go close to them given the Australian man-eating shark experiences!”
Next up was a rendezvous with some huge sting rays, which proved to be a close encounter with a twist!
Dr Anne says of the rays, “we took off on jet skis and headed to a sand bank inside the coral reef (where the man-eating sharks don’t go) and the local guide fed the sting rays by hand so that he could hold them and we could stroke them. I even got to kiss one called Lucy!”
The old days of the goggles and snorkel have been replaced by a new full-face breathing system (seen here in Dr Anne’s incredible photos) that allows everyone from the most experienced to absolute beginners to enjoy a fully immersive perspective when shallow diving, breathing normally as if you would on land, but also being able to dip up and back down to see everything below with ease.
Not to be outdone by the incredible marine life, Dr Anne then took to the air and water herself for a heart-pounding ride of her own – on a fly board!
Fly boarding is described by Wikipedia as, “a board connected by a long hose to a watercraft. Water is forced under pressure to a pair of boots with jet nozzles underneath which provide thrust for the rider to fly up to 15 m or 49 feet in the air or to dive headlong through the water down to 2.5 m.”
“It was an amazing experience even though I’m not very good at it but … what a feeling to fly over the water!” she told us.
We look forward to catching up with Dr Anne upon her return, and no doubt we’ll also be greeting with even more amazing tales of adventure!