Monday, July 30, 2012

Red-footed boobies

Jordan and I decided to explore another beach in the lagoon of Tikehau of the Tuamotus so we pulled anchor and sailed a few miles up the lagoon till we spotted a beautiful deserted area (S15°04.785' W148°09.208'). We walked the sable (pink) sand beach collecting shells and found a real beauty!

Judy on dinghy at one of the nicest beaches so far

Along the shoreline, we spotted several black tip sharks cruising for food in the shallow water...

Next we sailed about 5 miles further to Bird Island, a small islet within the lagoon, where red-footed boobies reside (S14°58.506' W148°05.921'). In the past, we have seen many boobies with blue, yellow, or brown feet at Isla Isabella (Mexico) and a few at Gal├ípagos but have never seen red-footed boobies up close. We were treated to a real sight of bright reds!

We also observed the docile white birds and the noisy chattering black coloured birds with white plumed heads sitting no more than a few feet above us in the scattering of nests in the tree branches. After lots of photos, we headed towards the pass where it was necessary to exit before dark. It was a nervous passage across the lagoon as the sun was ahead of us putting a glare on the water that obstructed clear sighting of coral heads. We got to the pass just as the sun was setting and we lined up with the range markers for a safe straight track through the pass out into safe deep waters.

Tahiti - here we come!

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