Tahiti is an exotic destination far away from home with plenty of opportunity for above ground and underwater adventure. Some vacationers opt for a full day 4X4 Jeep Safari Excursion, where you can experience the island alongside a friendly driver/tour guide. Others prefer ocean activities like deep sea fishing or shark and ray watching. But, for those looking to dive right into adventure, a plunge below the water’s surface might be just the activity. If you are a low maintenance snorkeler, then grab your goggles and jump right in. For a more in-depth look beneath the surface, you’ll want make sure you have a tank, regulator, stab/BCD, mask, fins, diving suit, and weight belt.
Either way, grab your gear and join us as we kick off the surface to see what lies beneath. For today, we’ll be your tour guide as we dive into the aquamarine depths of the Pacific.
So jump on in and see!
Photo credit: 1,000 Cute Things
If you’re lucky to be diving in Tahiti during turtle hatching season, then you might be able to see one of these little guys making his way out to sea. Every year, mother turtles lay their eggs and bury them to keep them safe. After the eggs hatch, the babies must survive a harrowing journey through sand to get to the ocean, where they will swim freely to complete their growth into adults.
But, for now, down, down, we go!
This first fish just below the surface is called the Humphead Wrasse, but we prefer its more commonly known name: the Napolean Fish. It’s characterized by its bluish-green coloring, large lips, and the hump on its head from which it gets its name.
Swim a little closer to the coral and you’ll see these guys. Their name, much like their appearance, is simply Redfish. They swim in schools and hover around the reefs. While you’re here, snap a picture while you can: Redfish are small and they’ll swim away when they see you coming.
Swim a little deeper and you’ll find the Manta Ray. The maximum depth a ray can live at is 6.8 miles, but don’t worry, you don’t have to go thatdeep to see one. Manta Rays can get a bad rap, as people often confuse their triangular shaped wings and long, flat bodies with those of a Stingray. But Mantas are friendly and sting-proof. Oftentimes you can even get up close and personal and touch them!
If there are any adventurous souls still with us, then let’s continue our downward dive and visit some reef sharks. These guys, mostly found around atolls, tend to stay away from islands and out of lagoons unless trained by instructors. While most fear a Jawstype of incident, unless you classify yourself as a bony fish, you’ll probably be OK. Just give them some space and look on from a distance.
Before you leave our ocean adventure behind and swim back up to the surface, make sure to take a final look at the scenery. There’s so much wildlife beneath the waves that it’s easy to miss the smallest things, including the sea anemone pictured above. Known as the Polypes de Tubastrea, this underwater flower is a delicate adornment to the reef that surrounds and protects the lagoons of French Polynesia.
Now that we’ve reached the end of our journey, sadly, it’s time to return to the surface. We hope you enjoyed this diving adventure beneath the ocean waves, and we encourage you to come back any time in the flesh!