Atlantis Alumni

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Day Three: Kamakazi Scuba Diving In Rangiroa

Tiputa Pass in Rangiroa one of two openings in the island where strong currents between the lagoon and the sea are constantly flowing. The area is teeming with fish, sharks turtles and dolphins. Scuba diving in the pass, called "shooting the pass" is a white knuckle adventure not for the faint of heart, inexperienced, or out of shape. The currents flowing through the pass are going at the speed of white water. Apparently, shooting the pass can be done twice a day when the currents shift allowing for some chance of surviving the experience. I did a routine morning dive at a calmer location in the Rangiroa lagoon and I was able to take some nice fish and turtle photographs. However, during the afternoon "shooting the pass" dive I had all I could do to keep myself from being swept into huge coral heads. I got banged up anyway and now have band aids in several spots on my body. It is also a deep dive, much deeper than I usually like to go, since you have to go deep near the bottom to keep from being swept totally away. At one point, all of the divers dropped to the bottom and grabbed hold of dead coral heads to at least temporarily stop their speedy trip through the pass. While fascinating and exhilarating, this was not my cup of tea since I was too busy trying to stay safe to take all but a few photographs. "Shooting the pass" is a type of drift diving but certainly not the relaxed and enjoyable drift diving in gentle currents that I experienced in a place such as Cozumel. Oh well, chalk this one up to experience!

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