Beautiful, Dangerous, Beautiful

There are “false passes” in some atolls in which there is a spot in the encircling coral reef just low enough for snorkelers, or surfers, or even small boats to exit to the open ocean.

P1020667Last week we were anchored near a false pass (Motu Totegegie in Mangareva Atoll) and we spent some time outside the pass snorkeling and fishing in the open ocean.

Well, in the middle of a BBQ on the beach in the afternoon a group of us had the great idea to head out the pass for some fishing (trolling style) even though the tide was a little low and even though the light was already fading.

On the way back, surrounded by the light of a stunning sunset, we worked our way back, through crystal clear water that the sunlight was glancing off of, allowing occasional peeks at the what lay beneath:


Sometimes the sunset obscured everything except what poked out of the surface:


In each dinghy it was a team effort to spot the coral heads just below the surface before they ripped into the pontoons or broke the prop:


Is it possible to be stressed when you are looking at this scenery? Yes…but then no…but then yes…