Fakarava (French Polynesia)

With Chris Cook

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In April of 2019 I was fortunate enough to go to Toau and Fakarava in French Polynesia. We all explore for different reasons, maybe it is to be immersed in different cultures, for some it’s the music, possibly the food, for me a large portion will always be the wildlife. Visiting this part of the world can be life changing whatever your reason for going, I will forever want to return for the marine creatures. The visual atmosphere on the island alone is an overload of beauty and intrigue, making the entire voyage worth the effort. For the naturalists and wildlife seekers, here is a photographic tribute to the marine life we encountered on this perfect day between Toau and Fakarava.

I’ve been fortunate enough to come across these animals in many different parts of the world. I find them to be one of the best species to help people get over some of the misconceptions of sharks. The Tawny Nurse sharks of Fakarava are anything but shy enabling me to get this shot.

Moray eels tend to be much more willing participants, I just need to remember not to get too close; Maybe a product of poor eyesight, but who knows! 

The gray reef sharks were very curious of our presence and were keen to come and inspect what we were up to. They seemed as interested in us, as we were in them, they rarely receive visitors!

Some swam closer than others. This female came so near I was able only to fit half her profile in my camera’s frame of view.

I have been trying to get an image of an Emperor Angel Fish Pomacanthus imperator looking directly into my camera for years, they tend to be too shy and never look at the camera for more than a split second, and never long enough to get “the shot.” The snorkelling off Fakarava is beyond incredible, and on this day the water was crystal clear. I could see this impressive fish deep down the bottom acting very territorial towards other fish. I swam down and upon entering his territory he let me know I had entered his area and I too was not welcome. I was able to quickly get this image, finally! 

Did you know…

…that I give fun, nature-based presentations to schools and other organisations?

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