JBL Expedition 2015: California, South Seas & Australia

JBL Expedition 2015: California, South Seas & Australia

Moorea – a Remote Island Paradise in the Middle of the Pacific

After the cold California Current we visited the coral reefs of the South Seas, so that, after we had been to the Barrier Reef in Australia later, we would be able to carry out a triangulation of our Pacific results. And even before we had entered the water, we were greeted by that South Seas aura, just like in the movies. Just 10 minutes after our arrival at the resort we were whisked off to the dive center, where two boats were waiting for us. Never a dull moment! For 15 minutes we negotiated shallow lagoons and passed luxury hotels built into the sea on stilts, to reach the first dive site. The water was warm and the visibility was very good at over 30 m, thanks to the low plankton content. Some blacktip sharks surrounded us during our descent to the bottom at a depth of about 20 m. The coral diversity wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t nearly as high as it was later at the Barrier Reef. The reason is simply the isolated nature of the South Sea Islands. The nearest mainland (Mexico or Australia) is 7000 km away. Even Hawaii lies closer to a continent, being only 4000 km away from one. We counted the coral species, measured the water composition and started the feeding trials on our second dive. Although 3m long lemon sharks arrived along with the obligatory blacktip reef sharks, we opened the food tins and noted which fish species were interested in the food. The number of curious sharks rose but they remained wary and kept a distance of 1m. The red snappers had no such inhibitions and bit into the tins, the food and the fingers of the feeding divers! As well as the snappers, butterfly fish and a large titan triggerfish were interested in the food. When a tin was snatched from a diver and glided to the ground, a moray eel, whose sense of smell is far superior to that of other fish, was immediately on the spot. When we thought about it, we would have to confirm that ALL species present showed great interest in JBL MariPearls.

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