We are in ‘package delivery hell’ here in Fakarava. We have three which may or may not arrive. One is supposed to come on a plane this week. I spoke to someone using my best french and she said she will call back with details. Still waiting! Another, if we can get it out of customs in Tahiti, may trolley along too. The third is in the world parcel black hole which is currently Australia. Australia has been stock piling parcels for French Polynesia for the past six months. A container arrived by ship recently into Tahiti full of packages. The FP postal service have announced it will take up to three months to distribute them. That’s only 9 months for your package to arrive. Speedy ‘eh!
With this ongoing frustration, I decided the best way forward would be to do something nice to take our minds off package world. We’ve been snorkelling here but not diving. And the north and south passes into Fakarava atoll have world wide reputations in the diving community apparently.
I dug my dog eared certificate out. It’s only 22 years since I last dived. Really. Dave found his Padi Advanced Open Water card, one side showing a photograph of fresh faced youth. The date, 1995, three years before mine.
Being so bang up to date with our qualifications, I decided a refresher dive would be a good idea. The plan initially was to do the refresher in the lagoon. Just to practice a few skills although there isn’t much to look at. However, on the day, the dive school had a boat going out to the north pass, so Sebastian suggested we tag along there and do the skills over a bit of reef there.
Turned out to be a top idea as we got through the skills pretty quickly and then followed Sebastian as he took us a what would be a regular dive for paying punters. The next day we went again for our ‘proper dive’, which wasn’t that different to the day before, just deeper and we spent longer underwater.
There was lots to see. Many many sharks, shoals of fish, moray eels and pretty coral. I felt like I was in a blue vista video game, drifting along with the incoming current watching lots of wildlife moving smoothly past. At one point we swam under a large shoal of fish, above which were a line of sharks. All very surreal.
We got into the water at slack tide. By the time we got out just under an hour later, the tide was coming in so we were drifting along at what felt like quite a quick pace. We’d probably travelled about 500m into the middle of the pass.
I didn’t take my camera as I was too busy thinking about buoyancy and having my hands free for checking my equipment and grabbing rocks to look at things. If you want more, google diving on the north pass Fakarava. I’m sure there’s lots of videos and pictures out there in internet world.