Niue - Snake Gully
It was an early morning to get to shore, drive to the dive shop, then gear up and get out on the water. The fisherman who was pulling his boat and 30lb wahoo out of the water told us there were Whales in the bay, so first before our dive we headed off in search of a whale interaction. We saw two whales right away, and headed to where they had surfaced. I jumped in to spot the dive boat and see if they were in the area still. I didn't see the whales, but I did see a LARGE Blue Marlin (8'body plus 3'sword at least) about 40 feet below me....VERY COOL majestic fish. The whales surfaced further north, so out of the water and we kept chasing. We got some great views as they surfaced from the dive boat, and one swim by but the single whale was fairly deep so we saw more of the hint of a whale than anything else. Still, very cool and hopefully we will get a better look in the next week. After that we jumped in to swim with some dolphins for a few minutes, then headed to Snake Gully for our dive.
Snake Gully gets its name from the plethora of snakes that call this region home. The snakes vary from 2' to 4' and though VERY poisonous, have very small mouths, so aren't very dangerous to humans. They surface about every 30 minutes to breath and are quite inquisitive when they aren't sleeping. Other than the snakes and some nice early growth coral (Niue was hit pretty hard by a cyclone in 2004ish and the coral is just coming back now) there is a very cool, but small cave with TONS of Lobster and another Chavern with very cool light filtering through the gaps. A lovely dive, but by then we were getting pretty cool in the 80 degree (27 C) water.
Tonight we had Ann (Hospital administrator - read head of state health and human services) and Shelly (Chief of Police's wife) over for dinner along with Steve and Trish. Very nice conversation and a great dinner. Unfortunately, Steve and Trish are leaving us tomorrow and we won't see them again until New Zealand in November for Steve, and January for Trish. We will miss them greatly. About half the harbor had emptied out in the last two days, but we have another week or so to explore Niue and plan to make the most of it.
Pics have been updated through the Cook islands and Niue should be up soon, so go check out the web albums (link on the right). The other big news is that a 57' catamaran flipped on their way here the other day and were rescued by the ship that came in on Monday. The Crew is fine, but it is a wake up call to a lot of sailors here and makes us very glad we have a big heavy keel under our boat unlike a catamaran which is more stable upside down then right-side up. My quick write-up of the incident made the front page of SailingAnarchy.com