24 Juillet 2014
Dive site : The Canyons - Tetiaroa
Date : June 12nd, 2014 - 02.00pm
Editor : François LEJEUNE - TOPDIVE
For my first dive in the splendid Tetiaroa atoll, I had the pleasure of diving at the Canyons site. This dive site is located in the south of the atoll, outside the lagoon. We arrived on site after several minutes of sailing from the prestigious The Brando hotel. Visibility seemed excellent from the surface. As we geared up on the boat, we clearly noticed the bright blue of the lagoon.
The visibility was excellent as I back rolled from the semi-rigid boat. Temperature was about 80°F with a slow current. Perfect for a cool, calm dive! As we descended slowly along the external slope of the reef, we immediately noticed a multitude of colorful fish, butterfly fish, triggerfish and bannerfish playing in the waves a heady beautiful show.
At a depth of 65ft, we arrived to a labyrinth of canyons. I entered without hesitation. Many holes and coral overhangs around me hosted groups of soldier fish hidden in nooks and crannies. Numerous Lionfish were nestled along the reef slope giving a « zebra-like » landscape. Some white tip sharks were basking on the sandy bottom, waiting for anything to relieve their boredom. Diving in these canyons offers a different perspective of diving - like spelunkers in a cave expedition. I was amazed by the sunlight creeping through the corals like skylights.
Once exiting the canyons, we progressed along the reef. I couldn’t help watching at the deep waiting for a “big fish” to appear. To our surprise, a large shoal of spotted eagle rays appeared from the deep, flying gracefully and effortlessly.
Working our way along the slope back to the surface, I came face to face with a large Humphead wrasse and its surprising hump. There were also a great barracuda overhead that kept a close eye on the area. Probably searching for prey…. With my decompression stop done along the reef, I concluded this beautiful dive. The boat skipper picked us up near the diver safety buoy. A cool and calm fun dive!
It was my first dive in Tetiaroa and I still hope to discover other breathtaking dive sites around this Polynesian sanctuary of biodiversity.
© photos - S.Girardot, T.Kotouc