The choice of the Te Ava Nui diving center was definitely a great one: everyone there is just nice and relaxed, but when it is about diving, they are all extremely professional and security oriented, just what we are looking for. The instructors know the lagoon inside out and the fauna you find here, making these few days an unforgettable experience!
The reason for the incredible amount of fish around the atoll is the two “passes” in the reef of the atoll. These passes, one in the north and one in the south, are raptures in the reef around the lagoon and at these points there is a lot of exchange of water. The saltier warmer water of the lagoon meets the less salty, cooler water of the ocean and thus resulting in lots of nutrients, which means lots of fish. And lots of fish means lots of predators, thus the huge number of sharks that can be seen here, one of the highest concentrations in the world!
We are always excited before each of our two excursions per day, because we simply know that we will get to see something new and exciting. No matter if we drift dive in the passes in a strong current, the very place where you find sharks, or in a coral garden, we are sure to enjoy some of the best diving ever.
At least once a day, we dive through the passes and enjoy being surrounded by sharks, clinging carefully on to corals so that the current does not wash us away. Having no gloves, our fingers are already very sore. For us these are very challenging dives, even though the guides explained that what we experience is not a strong current at all. Nobody risks diving in the current moving away from the lagoon, since it can be extremely dangerous. There might be the risk that divers are sucked down when the warmer, saltier water of the lagoon goes underneath the colder, less salty water of the open sea. Once a group of very experienced divers tried this and was taken down 80 meters before being able to climb again!
The dive in the afternoon is usually much more “relax”, with little or no current, but always a few sharks to remind you that you are in Fakarava! There, we enjoy astonishing corals, schools of colorful fish, at times so curious that they come very, very close.
Some of the regulars here complained that we did not see “the really big ones”, like Hammerhead Sharks, Tiger Sharks or Manta Rays. Well, we guess the usual suspects always complain! Diving in Fakarava will remain in our memory as the best spot we have ever seen, much better than what we had dreamt of: maybe being there is a little like doing a Safari in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, where we were overwhelmed by the number of animals we had the privilege to see!
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