Published: January 25th 2006January 20th 2006
We sail from Papeete for Moorea this morning. The journey takes about two hours. When the Voyager sails into Cook’s Bay, I know we are in for a fantastic day. The ship anchors in the water, all around us is a view of dense, green vegetation rising to craggy mountain tops. And, the color of the water…it’s indescribable. Ah, now we’re truly in romantic Polynesia.
Our tour today is the Lagoon Discovery with Snorkeling. We tender to shore where we find our snorkeling boat waiting for us. We motor out of Cook’s Bay and sail past Opunohu Bay, the background for Mutiny on the Bounty and South Pacific. Our boat motors farther along the lagoon until we stop at a spot to see the sting rays. We step down the ship’s ladder into the shallow water which has a smooth sandy bottom. Our guide instructs us to stay in the shallow area as there is a drop-off a few feet away. Suddenly, the rays approach from every direction. Our guide is in the water with us and he has fish in his hand to attract the rays. Of course the rays think we all have food for them, so they
glide by us, under us and even into us. We have to watch where we step because the rays are everywhere. We touch their backs which are smooth and sort of slimy but bristly towards the ends. What gentle and inquisitive creatures. This is exhilarating and peaceful all at the same time. Looking into the water through my snorkeling mask, I can see other fish and even a few sharks out in the deeper part of the lagoon. The longer we are in the water, the closer the sharks come but they don’t bother us; and we certainly don’t bother them. After 30 minutes of swimming with the rays, we board the boat and it heads for a snorkeling spot. We pass through the most beautiful colors of water, from green to aquamarine to deep blue. No words or photos can ever capture this beauty. When the boat stops for snorkeling, Alan and I enter the water, put on our masks and look down to see purple coral, various colorful fish and a large school of small black fish that are oblivious to us. There are large coral formations clustered on the bottom of the lagoon. As I float over
them, it’s like I’m looking down at a small city of sea life. Fish are darting in and out of the coral while taller sea life (I don’t know what to call it) sways with the current. The area is teeming with life. It starts to rain just as we finish our snorkeling so we have a wet ride back to the dock. What a fantastic adventure!
The Captain has invited everyone on deck this afternoon for a sail-away party and some sight seeing. It’s what I call a “Capt. Dag moment”. As the ship glides from Cook’s Bay to Opunoho Bay (the site for many Hollywood filmings), the Captain plays the soundtrack from South Pacific over the loudspeaker. The ship slowly pirouettes in the bay, circling a small pleasure yacht called the Pangaea. The Captain even sends over two bottles of champagne to the smaller ship. What could be better on a warm, cloudy, Polynesian afternoon than to be standing on deck with our champagne, listening to “Bali Hi” and “Some Enchanted Evening” while we view exotic scenery? It’s magical!
At tonight’s show, Donny Ray Evans sings Nat King Cole songs, a perfect ending to a perfect
To read more about arranging an excursion to swim with stingrays, visit My Itchy Travel Feet
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