Drift diving the pass

For a few days we had been watching the weather looking for a good window to start our progress north. The coming Monday or Tuesday were looking the best. And this morning the big decision of the day was whether to move to an anchorage near the pass. After the excitement transiting the pass on our arrival, we wanted to watch the pass at our intended departure time to make sure we were timing it for the smallest waves and drama (we had been told by the villagers 1 – 2 hours before high tide). Following our morning weather download at 7:15am, we studied the various weather charts and concluded that the window still looked good and the wind for foiling looked bad (and getting worse). So up the anchor came for the hefty 1.3nm passage to our next anchoring spot.

We waited until 10:45am to head for the pass in the dinghy, heading out a tiny pass and over a field of coral is only passable at high tide. We reached the pass and started making our way out towards the open ocean, the area of the largest waves appeared to be about 1 meter and in close sets of three. Yep, we did get some waves in the dinghy, but overall it looked like it would be fine to depart with Sky Pond.

Getting back inside a bit, we donned our snorkel gear and proceeded to float the pass to figure out if the current was flowing in, out, or slack. With 15-20 knot winds it was a bit tough to tell for sure. But we were treated to an amazing wall of colorful coral, sea fans, and so so many fish. The always territorial parrot fish all seemed to be sprinting to scare off other smaller fish. And while I had my eyes peels as there can be bull and tiger sharks in the pass (not friendly guys), today thankfully no shark sightings. The wind would push the dinghy across the pass, mostly Carl, but at times me, would work kicking our fins to pull it back to the south side. After collecting data, we came to the conclusion that high tide was around 11:00am and tomorrow we would return and an hour earlier and check again if that had better waves for our exit.

After clearing the pass there is a big volcanic tower of a rock, we jumped back in the water and free dived to check out the vertical wall. It had some coral and color to it but after viewing the pass it was more underwhelming. Still good, but just impossible to compete with the aquarium view with thousands of fish and overwhelming amount of colorful coral.

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