For us Penrhyn’s biggest attraction is underwater. We’ve been in the water constantly on this trip, snorkeling and swimming several times a day and scouting out the site of our next scuba dive. We had already snorkeled through Takuua Passage near our anchorage and wanted to return and dive the pass near high tide when the incoming ocean water turns the lagoon water crystal clear as an aquarium.
Today was the day – after digesting our coconut crab lunch we donned our gear and went on a leisurely exploration of the pass. As soon as we hit the water we were in an underwater Disneyland. This is the best coral landscape I have every seen, the reason why we’ve come back to the South Pacific! The coral formations are incredible – huge, sculptural and in pristine condition – an entire neighborhood of fairy tale castles edging thoroughfares of mysterious deep canyons and populated by a bounty of brightly colored reef fish, turtles and the omnipresent black tip reef sharks (a step up in size from the babies constantly milling around Raven). The water is so clear and bright that I have not even been using the flash strobes on my underwater camera housing, and there was no need whatsoever to dive deeper than 5 meters with so much to see near the surface.
When the tide turned and the water started to cloud up we were done diving – no use spoiling an idyllic dive with less than perfect conditions.