That reef window came! In fact, even though we have returned to the islands, the winds are still light and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I might be a tad snorkeled out!!
We had a wonderful week at the outer reef. It’s my happy place! The weather was gentle and in fact we had days where there wasn’t a breath of wind. It was hot!
We stopped at Bait Reef for a night, then we anchored at Little Black Reef for the remainder of our week. Little Black offered so many snorkel opportunities both inside the lagoon and on the drop-off in the channel outside where we found colourful coral gardens, big and small fish, sea fans, feather stars, clams, anemonefish and sea stars, and all in such clear water.
I have so many photos from these numerous daily snorkels, so I’ve really struggled with the selection for this blog post. Of course the catch with having so many photos you are happy with, is the time you then spend on selecting and editing them (I was up to 1 am last night and that was after many more hours of editing beforehand!). So here goes …
One of my early snorkels inside the Little Black Reef lagoon …
But … my biggest thrill came when I finally spotted my very first ever nudibranch! And it was a black and orange one … bossa nova colours! Nudibranchs are small soft-bodied molluscs, with no shell (the word ‘nudibranch’ comes from the Latin word “nudus” meaning “naked”). There are thousands of species of nudibranchs, with many of them having a nickname. They are incredibly varied and so very colourful. They are small and difficult to spot so I was so excited to see my first one … my guess is it’s a Variable Neon Nudibranch (its common name). Who cares! What a stunningly beautiful little creature!
We explored the Little Black lagoon for snorkeling spots with Ilikai, then Anui and Aqualibrium. We even had a fish one afternoon, catching dinner, a stripey and a tuskfish!! A daily routine soon settled in with an early snorkel, followed by coffee on one of our boats, afternoons to ourselves (me sorting photos), then maybe drinks or a dinner together. We had a bbq on AQ with Anui, celebrating our happy times and surroundings with champagne and we also enjoyed a Grand Final feast of coral trout thanks to Wade’s prowess with his spear gun. He caught three coral trout! The best eating fish by far. No GF out there and yes, I sacrificed the GF for the reef!
And I can’t forget the Xmas Tree Worms …
As I said earlier in this post, I have lots of photos … so there will be a part two soon!