August 8

Today was a very nice day. For the second morning in a row, the croissant deliver man pulled up to our boat with baskets of Pain du Chocolate, Croissants, fuits and other goodies and we grabbed as many chocolate croissants as we could afford (we are running short of Francs). We then pulled the hook up and motored down to the SE corner of Raiatea. We anchored behind a motu which separates the pass into two passes.

Raiatea is a lot more developed then Huahine and Taha'a. We also happen to be anchored across from the biggest settlement on the island, Uturoa, the capital of Raiatea. The water is very clear here and we managed to get a dive in this afternoon. Danny and I put in just South of the pass in about 110ft of water. At first I was very disappointed as all we saw was rubble, the remains of old reefs that have been destroyed and sand. We swam North a few hundred feet and the scenery quickly. Immediately we had a black tip shark come close to check us out, but he quickly scooted away. And off in the distance another shark slunk by quietly. So far so good! Two sharks in the first 7 minutes. It turned out to be a very cool dive and we saw 4 more sharks (though I only saw 3 of those) before the dive was through and 2 spotted eagle rays. There were also swarms of trigger fish and the coral was very nice after that first dead patch.

Our intent was to swim North till we reached the pass and drift through it on the tide. Unfortunately, we were low on air before we even reached the corner and had to surface. Total dive time was about 32 minutes. When we came up I realized we were still about 200 ft from the corner where the trench of the pass would be found and a right turn should be made. Kate, who's task it was to man the dinghy and follow us, by our bubbles of course, was nowhere to be seen. Obviously the rough conditions had made it impossible to see our bubbles. This has happened to us before and is no cause for alarm. The driver simply patrols back and forth over the area where the divers are expected to traverse. Kate did fine and after only 2 or 3 minutes of floating around we spotted her and she spotted us and we were soon in the dinghy on our way back to the boat.

We had drinks (Danny got a bag of ice this morning when he motored into the village to make phone calls) had a nice lunch of pasta and lounged around, filled the tanks, and just relaxed the rest of the day. We are having Chinese food for dinner again; I'm making scallops in chili sauce (frozen scallops of course) and pork with brown vinegar. Should be nice.

Tomorrow we are going to stay here and do some more diving. Tomorrow its my turn to man the dinghy and Kate will dive with Danny.