Our first time in Raiatea! It was just about exactly like all of the other French Polynesian islands – the water views, and water sports, are everything here. There is a little village that has a few stores and restaurants, but that isn’t why you come here.
Mike went diving once again, and most of our photos are from out on the water. On the way out to the second dive site (a reef), the dive guide mentioned that white tip and black tip reef sharks were common in the area. Mike was the first one off the dive boat, and as soon as he adjusted his mask and looked around, sure enough, there were two four-foot-long black tip reef sharks circling about 20 feet in front of him. The dive group saw several other black tip reef sharks on the dive, and the sharp-eyed guide found a cute little one-foot white tip reef shark hiding under a rock. White tip reef sharks, unlike many sharks, are able to pump water over their gills, so they do not have to constantly keep swimming. A couple of the divers in our group had cameras, so they took a few photos and then left him in peace to wait until dark, when he no doubt emerged and went hunting.
Over the course of the day, there were many people on sailboats, glass bottom boats, jet skis, and parasailing. It is the best way to see the stunning water up close. The air was hot and sultry, as it always is here, and the clouds always dramatic. They slowly turned darker and darker, and in the late afternoon, it did rain a bit. But it just isn’t possible to have a bad day in French Polynesia.
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