Snorkeling Outside the Reef

Snorkeling at Motu Moie is a real adventure. When the waves are calm, the outside living barrier reef, sometimes called “rainforest of the sea”, offers even more excitement. This living reef surrounds both Taha’a and Raiatea, and acts as a protecting barrier and a base for its diverse ecosystem, and occasional humpback whales. Snorkeling in the coral garden near Motu Moie is is exciting and good for beginners as well.

Today’s adventure requires that we bring our fins, gloves mask and snorkel. We walk over the deed reef and through to shallows, to the edge of the living reef. The conditions vary, from calm to breaking waves. Today the waves are small. We slip on our gear and step off the reef’s edge. There is a short vertical wall, about 10 feet deep, covered with different corals, plants, and shellfish. From here, the depth gradually increases out about 50 yards, then falls to 2000 feet. Small multicolored fish live off the corals, and attract bigger fish and other sea creatures, including sharks, barracuda, rays, sea turtles, lobster, and schools of tuna.

We are pushed about by the currents, and gradually make our way along the wall, enjoying the incredible view. This is an incredible, exciting adventure. Next time I will remember to bring my camera, and try coral reef diving.