Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Underwater World of Aitutaki

Barefoot Island is one of the many atolls in the Cook Islands, a protectorate of New Zealand located just west of French Polynesia. It is part of the island group named Aitutaki. If you enlarge this photo, you can see a windsurfer and his kite-like sail in the distance.
Sunlight illuminates the yellow tails in this delightful setting for snorkeling.
The leopard patterned back of a moray eel was visible at close range looking down through a hole in the coral reef. My husband, David, took this photo and the other underwater photos. No, we did not get close to the side hole opening of the reef to try to get a close up photo of the moray eel's head and mouth. This top view was as close as we wanted to be. David's father almost lost two fingers to the mouth of a moray eel swimming off Waikaki Beach in Hawaii.
In many places the coral reef is very close to the ocean surface, as you can see in this photo. Coral grows best in warm, clear water, with lots of sunlight. Visitors need to be careful to swim over the reef, but not to touch it and not to stand on coral.
It is hard to decide which is more colorful: purple coral or yellow fish.
This close up of a hermit crab was taken by our very good friend, Jim Lowman. We travelled together to Polynesia and the Cook Islands. Jim's artwork can be seen on his website, LeafdogArt.com. Jim is a talented printmaker as well as photographer.
This close-up, underwater view of a sea cucumber walking was also taken by Jim. Here is a link that will take you directly to the title page of the the gallery of his photos on his Leaf Dog Art website. It is well worth a look.
This is the inside of a iridescent clam under water. The clam was about the size of a rugby ball.
This is an even closer view of the colors and patterns on the inside of an iridescent clam. Dave was so close that the clam closed up after he took this photo and he could feel on his face the rush of the water forced out of the inside of the clam. He said it was like being spit on by a clam.

13 comments:

brattcat said...

These are spectacular shots. The water couldn't get any clearer, could it? The images of reef and creatures truly sing with energy and color. Beautiful!!!!

Steffe said...

Fantastic photos and this is an island I will have to visit one day.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Spectacular pictures from a splendid place full of colours and beuaty!

JM said...

I am a sea lover, a tropical fish hobbyist and a snorkling-on-the-coral-reef 'addict'... so I just LOVE this post! :-)
Great shots!

Memphis MOJO said...

I love these shots. Thank you for sharing.

An aside: When I click to enlarge, I see the image just fine. Then when I click "back arrow" to return, it won't. I have to open your Scottsdale web site, click on Viva la Voyage and return. Any idea what I'm doing wrong?

Catalina said...

Islands are really in top as travel destination.
The sea-life can be enjoyed properly near islands. Corals, clean water, beaches and also different adventure facility is there to give full pleasure.
That’s the reason the islands are very popular for travelers.

Sunshine Coast Resort

Catalina said...

Islands are really in top as travel destination.
The sea-life can be enjoyed properly near islands. Corals, clean water, beaches and also different adventure facility is there to give full pleasure.
That’s the reason the islands are very popular for travelers.

Sunshine Coast Resort

Diane AZ said...

Beautiful images, the colors and close-ups are amazing! The clam is my favorite.

Lois said...

Those are all so beautiful Julie! I love all the colors. I don't blame you for being careful about not getting too close to the eel!

glenda said...

These are really beautiful under water photos. What an experience to observe the clam at such close range.

Carraol said...

Beautiful travel blog of such incredible places. These two last shots seems abstract designs, gorgeous colors. Love the Buddha quote, traveler of the world and the mind! Congratulations both of you for this great job.

Des said...

These photos are really excellent. And the colors are remarkable.

Thérèse said...

The inside of the clam is amazing!
A piece of art.

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