Moara, New Caledonia, South Pacific 27/2-1/3-2014
After plenty time spent among wind and waves at the west coast, it is a total contrast to come to the New Caledonian east coast.
Here, in Moara, we have no waves in sight, and the wind is just enough to smoothly move the big palm trees which decoratively grow along the beach.
The reason why I whished to visit this particular place, was that I have heard reports about a friendly dugong that should have been seen in the area...
New Caledonia is a good place for dugongs, the great lagoon offers many sheltered places where they can find both food and rest. Though, most of the dugongs here are shy and the few we have seen from the boat have quickly been on their move without any bigger interest of further human company.
However, the dugong in Moara is told to be very social and keen on having closer contact to humans, up to that grade that there even is a big warning sign next to the beach, warning the swimmers about this big mammal.
.In Moara we get to know that the dugong has not shown up for a long time. Bad news for the dugong loving person I am...
Nevertheless, even if the dugong might not be on site anylonger, we still want to give it a chance and also give ourselves time to explore the area a bit.
.When the camping ground is chosen, and the tent is in place, I start to feel that I have a huge need of something...
Simply, to get into the water!!! ;)
Mask, snorkel, fins, camera... and one breath later we are beneath the surface again.
.The first impression of the underwater world is not very impressive though, the visibility is poor and just some small dead coral sections are partly visible.
No wonder the dugong has not been seen for a long time, there is no food for it here!
Even the smaller whitetip reef shark we meet looks a little lost in the barren underwater landscape...
.We continue to swim further out with the aim to follow the coral reef and to get some distance from the beach area.
The wonderful free feeling freediving gives me, always keeps me in a very good mood :)
So much fun you can have in the water!
It does not take long before the coral reef drastically start to change shape. With an increased curiousity we continue our swimming...
Wow! This looks promising!
The east coast is not as exposed to wind and waves as the west side and this shows. Here, many different corals including seafans are growing in very shallow waters.
From an almost dead landscape we suddenly find ourselves in a paradise of corals in all kind of sizes, colours and shapes.
In the coral reef, we also find smaller gorges, caverns and caves. The underwater world of Moara turns out to be really exciting!
We really enjoy our new snorkel spot and start to call it "Garden of Eden". Even though the dugong never showed up, this beautiful coral surrounding made it well worth coming here.
.Generally it is more precipitation here at the east coast, which results in a very green and vegetated area.
The large coconut palm trees truly gives the place an exotic touch. But attention is needed... You don´t want to get a falling coconut on your head!
.I have now spent three awesome months in New Caledonia and it is getting time to get used to cold waters again.
Soon, I will find myself diving in the deep fjords of Norway. But before that I will post one more blogpost with pics from the South Pacific...
Soon on the blog:
Join me to the small deserted island where my feathered friends are living. Close encounters with amazing animals. And learn how to use a coconut... ;)
..... :) .....