After doing some unforgettable diving around Fakarava in French Polynesia, we were in such a swing that we could not resist the glossy brochures promoting diving around Rarotonga. So on the second day there we dropped by Cook Island Divers. Since the man we talked to was nice and knowledgeable, we booked a two tank dive for the following morning.
During our first dive we saw hardly any impressive fish, but lots of dead coral. It was like floating through a former war zone or across the surface of the moon. Low visibility and the fact that we were often around 27 meters deep increased the impression that we were in a world of blue with grayish rocks but no other colors!
According to our diving instructor, this is due to two factors: there is a starfish like animal eating the coral, but how much coral can such tiny animals devour? The more plausible explanation was that three years ago, five cyclones hit the island within a month, with at least two of them being very destructive. All the corals were destroyed in this natural disaster and are only very slowly recovering!
But at least our second dive offered a few highlights. The first was the biggest Giant Moray we ever saw: maybe 2 meter long and 15 to 20 centimeters diameter! We then found two Whitetip Reef Sharks parked on the ground in a cave. Finally, we played “hide and seek” with a huge, deep green and really cheeky Napoleon Fish. This was great fun! He even seemed disappointed when we finally moved on…
Our dive on the Easter Island was probably the most disappointing. We chose the Rapa Nui Dive Center over the Orca Diving Center, because we found them to be a lot friendlier.
Even though visibility is supposed to be outstanding on Easter Island, it was rather poor that day! There are a few tropical fish to see, but we saw no big fish: the only highlight was a turtle that swam nearby. On top of that, the underwater Moai is a fake and really a joke, you do not need to see it, even though all dive centers sell it as the supposed highlight!