Aylesbury Green Park Sub-Aqua Club Aylesbury Green Park Sub-Aqua Club British Sub-Aqua Club
Yellow Jacks and sharks
Yellow Jacks and sharks
Lemon Sharks in conversation
A Catalina flying boat
The camp on Hao
The Moon begins to cover the Sun
Diamond Ring - click for full size image
Moai at Ahu Tongariki

Tahiti 2010

We visited Tahiti in 2010 on a trip to see an eclipse. As we had a free day, Trish organised a day's diving through Bathys dive centre.

A representative of the dive company collected us from the hotel, together with another guest from another tour. On the way to the dive centre we chatted with this guest who also was on Tahiti to see the eclipse and with a straight face regaled us with tales of the UFOs and out of body experiences he had enjoyed on previous eclipse trips, We smiled politely and shifted towards the other side of the car.

Bathys were well organised and dealt efficiently with the paperwork. We were supplied with good quality equipment (we had only brought our masks, fins, snorkels, computers and cameras for weight reasons) and joined the rest of the group on the boat. Bathys supplied Nitrox and a nitrox analyser (the nitrox workshop refresher we completed in 2008 came in handy).

The dive guide began the briefing by asking what we thought about diving with sharks, we mentioned that we had previously snorkeled above a white tipped reef shark (dogfish and cat sharks do not count). He then informed us that this was a shark dive, pulling out ring mail gloves and a container of 'chum'!

On arriving on site, we could see the sharks (white and black tip reef sharks) circling even before we entered the water.

As BSAC divers, we completed a full buddy check and were the last into the water, descending into the centre of the circling sharks. We settled to the bottom, keeping our arms close to our bodies and trying to keep the sharks in sight and taking pictures. The latter was more difficult than it sounds as the sharks were too close to get the whole shark in the picture. The sharks did keep getting short changed on the 'chum' front as the Yellow Jacks kept nipping in and snatching the food out of the dive guide's hand.

Having exhausted the 'chum' we moved off to complete our dive, with a sighting of a turtle.

The second dive was near a fresh water spring, leadng to some interesting halocline effects. We saw a pair of Lemon Sharks, the guide gestured to the party to keep their distance. Unfortunately our UFO spotter decided on a closer encounter with the sharks. Eventually they moved off rather than eat him and cause an international incident.

Between the second and third dives we retired to the hotel that hosts the dive centre for lunch. fish and chips, slightly disturbingly parrot fish in batter and chips!

The third dive was on two wrecks. One was a wooden hulled ship, the other a Catalina flying boat. What was surprising was how little growth there was, apparently the Catalina had been down there since 1964.

For the eclipse we flew out to the tiny island of Hao (with a massive runway that was a backup landing site for the Space Shuttle). The camp site was built especially for us (including the facilities).

Our beach front observation location offered uninterrupted views towards the rising sun. Having chosen our spot and set up the cameras we watched as the sun was slowly covered by the moon.

The totality was over far too soon and the final glory of the Diamond Ring marked the end of main event.

As we had avoided CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN (so no UFOs or other 'paranormal' events), we went off to have breakfast.

Trish did a little snorkling in the lagoon and found an octopus. On the last day at Hao we saw a black tip reef shark patrolling in the shallows where people had been wading earlier.

For the last part of our trip we had a few days on Easter Island. We did look into the options for diving, but with bad sea conditions and the nearest 'pot' being on the mainland (five hours by commercial airline) we decided against it.

And then there was the long journey back home.