Monday, 10 November 2008

Searching For Giant Clams At The Fruits Of Rarotonga, South Pacific

The Cook Islands consist of 15 major islands in total with the capital being considered as Rarotonga. Rarotonga is surrounded by coral reef meaning the waves break about 100 meters out at the furthest point. This leaves a lagoon and calmer waters perfect for snorkeling and canoeing. Undoubtedly the best snorkeling spot is at The Fruits of Rarotonga which lies to the southeast of the island on Muri Beach. I went to find this area with a couple of people I met ultimately in the search of giant clams. We had the directions 'snorkel to the end of the coral and then swim left' which I thought rather vague but decided to give it a go anyway.

From the shore The Fruits of Rarotonga just looks like calm waters from the beach but beneath the surface is a vibrant and colorful ecosystem. The coral itself is absolutely stunning and incredibly diverse. The variety of species is amazing and huge cauldrons of coral are dotted around. As you weave through the reef you will see countless species of fish just going about their lives, octopus, starfish and small clams.

After an hour of taking it all in, we decided to swim out to find the giant clams but it began to rain hard. We came to the surface and due to the severity of the down pour it was not obvious which way was back to land and which was out to sea. We had to tread water for several minutes before the rain eased up and we could swim back. Unfortunately we never found the giant clams but were very impressed with The Fruits of Rarotonga as a whole. As there is not much else to do on the island other than relax or canoe, The Fruits of Rarotonga should really be explored.

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