The Underwater World of the Cook Islands


Let’s see, where did we leave off?  A warm tropical sunset, Mai Tais on the deck?  Yes, somewhere like that…..

Much of our trip to the Cook Islands was spent in the water, so much so in fact I wanted to dedicate most of this post to the underwater world of the Cooks.  In Rarotonga, we stayed at Sea Change Villas, almost exactly at the half way point around the island (from the main town, and only town).  Our villa was just across the street from the beach, and as I mentioned before, it didn’t take us long to get into the water (minutes, in fact).



The reef which surrounds Rarotonga provides a great, sheltered lagoon for snorkeling.  Most of the water inside the reef is only about 4-6 feet deep, or even more shallow at low tide.  At times, it was life being inside an aquarium.



It was easy to lose track of all the different fish we saw.  Easily a hundred different kinds of fish.


There were many of the same fish in Atutaki, but there we also saw many more of the giant clams.  There were huge!  The largest was over three feet long, and as impressive as the size was, the colors were also so vibrant.




And the corals….wow.  So many different kinds, so many different colors.






Also in Atutaki, we saw Great Trevaly….huge fish (45 pounds) which came really close to us….wondering if we had something to eat, or maybe wondering if we were good to eat.



Too bad Matthew didn’t see one when he had his spear (of course, it would have taken it, and him, out to sea).


On our last snorkeling day, we saw some amazing fish, but none more spectacular than this lionfish.


Ohhh, I miss it all so much.  And there was nothing life spearfishing in the chilly Dunedin waters last Sunday (water temperature about 49 F) to remind us of just how great the water was in the Cooks.

And I’ll leave you with a funny story.  Deb and I were talking this week….just idle banter….and Deb wondered aloud where we might go for our 20th wedding anniversary (it’s still years away….but she’s a planner!).  I had just read more about the Cook Islands, about how there were 15 of them, some of them so remote a ship might only come there once a month….with pristine lagoons and abundant fish.  I said, “That’s the place I would want to go!”

“Oh.”  Deb mused.  “I was thinking Paris.”







Published by dave clarke

I am different things to different people. Husband, father, doctor, teacher, friend, or if you're a fish, a fly fisherman. But really, I'm just a guy trying to learn about life, and if I'm lucky, maybe teach a little bit along the way. If I were a golfer (I'm not) I would be on the back nine of my life, or if I were a book, there would be more pages turned than not. Any yet, I'm far from finished creating chapters of my life. The goal of Next Chapters is inspiration, and I'm hopeful the traffic goes in both directions.

2 thoughts on “The Underwater World of the Cook Islands

  1. spear fishing seems as much fun as casting and not as much down time. Just have to make sure your not part of the food chain with a big shark 🙂

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