French Polynesia is known for its breathtaking natural beauty, and few places showcase this more than the underwater wonderland at South Pass, Fakarava. This world-class dive site offers an unforgettable experience for divers of all levels, with stunning coral reefs, crystal-clear waters, and an abundance of marine life.
Scuba Dive Profile:
Depth: 40-120 ft (12-37 m) Level: Intermediate-Advanced Water temperature: 78-84°F (25-29°C) Visibility: 80-100+ ft (24-30+ m) Current: Moderate-Strong
Description of the Dive:
South Pass is a dive site located on the southern end of Fakarava, one of the largest atolls in French Polynesia. It’s a drift dive that takes you through a narrow channel between the coral walls, where the currents can be strong and unpredictable. Divers are advised to be experienced and comfortable with drift diving before attempting this site.
As you descend down the coral walls, you’ll be surrounded by a kaleidoscope of colors and marine life. The coral formations here are some of the most beautiful in the world, with intricate patterns and a variety of textures. Look out for schools of colorful reef fish, like parrotfish, angelfish, and butterflyfish, as well as larger species like groupers, snappers, and trevally.
But the real highlight of South Pass is the shark action. This is one of the best places in the world to see schools of gray reef sharks and blacktip sharks, which can number in the hundreds. It’s an exhilarating experience to be surrounded by these sleek predators as they swim past you, and divers are advised to stay calm and avoid making sudden movements.
Type of Wildlife Observed:
In addition to the sharks and reef fish, South Pass is also home to other unique marine life. Look out for large napoleon wrasses, which can grow up to six feet long, as well as green sea turtles and hawksbill turtles, which are often seen resting on the coral walls.
If you’re lucky, you may also spot manta rays, eagle rays, and even dolphins, which occasionally visit the site. And at night, the dive site comes alive with nocturnal creatures like octopuses, lobsters, and crabs.
In conclusion, scuba diving at South Pass, Fakarava is an experience that should not be missed by any diver visiting French Polynesia. With its stunning coral formations, crystal-clear waters, and incredible marine life, it’s a dive site that will leave you breathless. Just be prepared for the strong currents and thrilling shark encounters, and you’re sure to have a dive experience that you’ll never forget.
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