Friday, August 14, 2015

Anchored in the middle of the ocean

There are a few places in the Pacific where there is a coral reef just under the surface. It is good to know where these are so you don't hit them, and good to know where they are in case they are an incredible destination such as Beveridge Reef.

It feels very strange to be anchored in 10 feet of water almost 200 miles from the nearest land. The water on the inside of the reef is very calm even though the ocean waves are crashing on the reef just a short distance away.

No land here means no silt, no dirt, nothing in the water. That leaves us with the clearest water we have ever seen. No land here also means that water is continually coming in over the reef so the water doesn't warm up even though it is shallow. Even though the water temperature is 20° C (that's 72° F) we put on our wetsuits to go snorkeling!

It is 25 feet deep off the back of the boat and we can easily see the details on the sandy bottom, some little fish and sea cucumbers. The water is clear and light blue like swimming pool water. We took Tubby to the inside edge of the reef to snorkel along the coral shelf.

The coral is stunning and the fish are numerous, diverse and huge. Three good size white-tip sharks emerge from behind the hulk of an old wreck. Another is sleeping just under a shelf, Dina didn't even notice him while she was looking at a 3' long turqouise coloured fish!

The visibility is hard to describe. Some people say you can see over 100 feet under the water. Sitting in the cockpit, the boat barely rocking, seeing and hearing the crash of the surf on the reef... The whole experience was surreal considering we were literally in the middle of the ocean.