Monday, September 23, 2013

Koro Island

From Fawn Harbour we had a lovely beam-reach sail to Koro Island, where we expected to just spend a night and then move onto Makogai Island. After taking in the beautiful surroundings and realizing that we were the only boat moored in the Koro bay, we decided to stay a little longer. There was actually another boat beside us, but it was unoccupied and belonged to one of the island's residents, so it doesn't count ;)

While exploring the next day we were very lucky to run into an Australian ex-pat who's lived on Koro for 6 years with her husband. She showed us some beautiful spots and recommended snorkeling at a spot called the Black Rock. The snorkeling was amazing! Our best since Fakarava South.

Our 'Koro Guide' also informed us that another resident (Marlin) takes care of giant clams in the waters by her house. The main reason I wanted to go to Makongai was to view giant clams, so I was really excited to learn that we might be able to snorkel with some on Koro.

The next day we loaded our snorkel gear into our backpacks and walked to Marlin's house. Marlin is super passionate about the waters and reefs around Koro Island. It was very interesting to learn about her work protecting the reefs from the crown-of-thorn invaders, how she gained possession of the giant clams and how she came to live on Koro in the first place. She was kind enough to let us snorkel with her giant clams and even let us use her fresh water shower afterwards….what a treat!

The giant clams were stunningly beautiful with striated florescent markings. I was amazed at their size and especially the size of their siphon holes. Marlin needs to keep the clams in cages in order to protect them from hungry locals because they are a good source of protein, some being up to 1m in length.
The colors are amazing, and they can change color to optimize the harvest of glucose from algae in its body tissue.
This isn't a martian landscape, it is the opening of a 1m giant clam!

Koro Island was a quiet spot to do some great snorkeling and hiking. I'm so glad that we didn't just stay a night. There are 8 free and well maintained moorings in the bay, making it very easy to stop in for a visit.

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