Cook Islands 2003





Trip dates:

28 September 2003 and 4 October 2003

Boat / resort:

Edgewater Resort, Rarotonga

Dive centre:

Pacific Divers


Not much You would be fetched from the hotel and taken to the dive site. There, you would get on a truck with the boat in tow and drive to the harbour. There the boat was set on the water and off you went. Same thing on the way back.

Number of dives:

3: one on 28 September and 2 on 4 October.

Diving conditions:

Clear weather, calm seas. No currents. Water temperature 23.5C Excellent visibility 20 to 30 m. Poor reef life.


Im sorry to say that the reefs are very dead. They have been so since the 70s, apparently, and scientists cannot say why, but the safe bet is a full number of factors came together to kill them, notably pollution, overfishing and an outbreak of crown-of-thorns sea stars. As the pictures show, the only interesting feature were the Spanish dancers, which were plentiful and very beautiful. It was the end of the whale season and we could see their spray from the beach, but were not lucky enough to encounter them underwater. I was told that earlier in the season, they had come across them quite a few times on the very reef edges.

I was there for work and managed to eke out two free days at the beginning and the end of my stay to dive the area. I would not go again to the Cook Islands for the diving, as the reefs will take a long time to recover. It was really sad to see such beautiful reefs naked of coral life, and we could see a good number of crown of thorns still roaming the reef for the few surviving corals. Fish life was also quite poor. I was told that in other islands, the situation was much better, particularly in Aitutaki.

Pictures taken with my Olympus C-4040Z and internal strobe.


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