Wednesday 6th August 2017
Our spotlight that illuminates the back of the boat, makes for easy landing from the dingy at night and also casts a pool of light off of the stern into the water. This light attracts insects, tiny fish and krill, these in turn lure in other creatures looking for an easy meal. It has provided hours of entertainment over our travels but none so much as our experience last night. We returned from our BBQ at the bar to find a beautiful black and white Manta Ray dancing in the spot light. It swooped and rolled scooping up the mass of krill as it went, oblivious to us watching and filming it or the dingy almost on top of it. Mesmerised we watched its graceful twists and tumbles often right on the surface, other times it went deep only to re emerge ghostlike from the darkness. As it rose to the surface we could see the huge cavity with which it filters the food rich sea water and as it rolled it exposed its white underbelly with two remora stuck fast.
Scooping up the krill has he comes to the surface.
Back flips exposing the white underbelly and two remora.
The only disappointment was that Charlie and George, still drinking at the bar, missed the show, especially as the Mantas didn’t put in an appearance the two days we were at Manta Ray Bay. Luckily the drift snorkel through the Tokatokanu passage is one of the best snorkels we have found here with or without Manta. We take the dingy up current through the pass, jump in and drift with the strong current back over the coral towing the dingy behind. It is a fantastic sensation as you fly over the reef passing over a million fish big and small, spotting eagle rays and sharks on the way. At one area of the reef shoals of chromis, small turquoise fish, form dense lines of a thousand individuals that sweep and undulate around the contours of the coral looking like fast flowing underwater rivers. When we pop out the other end we just jump back into the dingy and do it all again, and again, and again.
Rivers of Chromis sweep over the coral
For our final day with the boys, we motored out with our friends on Knockando to a sandy cay, surrounded by nothing but turquoise sea. The snorkelling was a bit of a disappointment but the location was so remarkable in the calm conditions that we just swam and floated about enjoying the view. We moved on to the outer reef at Musket Cove in search of better coral but a sudden dramatic increase in wind drove us back to the anchorage and an evening in the bar.
At anchor off Sandy Cay
George and Charlie hopefully had a great time with us, they were fun to be with and they appear to have remembered to take all there belongings with them but have kindly left us with the colds they bought from Sydney. As we all coughed and sneezed our way into Denarau harbour, Raya sounded much like a plague boat. We swapped the boys for Ricks niece Ashley, the poor girl will have to put up with two ill old people for a day or two.
The extreme beer drinking experiment was not really a success