We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

snorkel outside the reef?

Which Rarotonga hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
socal
posts: 23
reviews: 4
snorkel outside the reef?

I got the bright idea it would be fun to do a snorkel trip outside the reef or protected lagoon, but I have e-mailed several companies and they don't respond. I am assuming it would be with the divers, we would just snorkel instead. I have questions regarding safety and shark activity. Anyone got input??

Also do any of the restaurants do lobster? One of the italian places e-mailed me they could hire a boat but that sounds expensive!!!!!

Do you think it is over kil on the stone fish concern, shouldn't you just use common sense??

C girl

S.F.
posts: 6,223
reviews: 10
1. Re: snorkel outside the reef?

Rottifan, snorkelling outside the reef is something that has always intrigued me. The closest I came was in Fiji. I snorkelled just inside the one of the passes of the great Astrolabe reef off the island of Kandavu. I was a few hundred yards in to the lagoon but I sure could feel the current. saw a wall of coral that dropped about a 100 feet. Snorkelling off a barrier reef is a pretty touchy thing. You have to be far enough away not to get caught in the surf activity and yet still close enough that your not over the abyss. I know in Tahiti the reefs drop off dramatically, you can see it from the air. The most exciting sounding snorkelling that I have ever heard of takes place on the atoll of Rangiroa, which is north of Tahiti. You are dropped off actually outside the reef in the pass between two of the small islands that make up just a small part of this large atoll. The current shoots you well in to the lagoon, you barely have to kick. The real killer is that you almost always see giant Hammerheads, sometimes a Tiger, tons of reef sharks and even the super dangerous Oceanic White Tip. I've been assured by old friends in French Polynesia that attacks don't happen because of the abundance of fish in the passes. Still sounds like cardiac time. Cheers, Pub

socal
posts: 23
reviews: 4
2. Re: snorkel outside the reef?

So are you saying there is a danger outside the reef? What about divers, same risk? I definitely do not want to see large sharks, especially a tiger! I do want to see turtles and rays and other life you will not see in the lagoon.

C girl

Seattle, WA. USA
posts: 2,875
reviews: 2
3. Re: snorkel outside the reef?

I would think that snorkeling outside the reef would subject you to a brutal battering against the reef itself. I would not recommend it.

Ken

S.F.
posts: 6,223
reviews: 10
4. Re: snorkel outside the reef?

Cgirl, you will se rays and turtles inside lagoons. Saw many Manta rays, leopard rays, and Sting Rays inside Bora Bora's lagoon. I agree with The Lord to an extent, but swimming or diving in the open ocean has more danger to it than a reef enclosed lagoon.

Canada
posts: 68
5. Re: snorkel outside the reef?

Hi I'm thinking that you are likely to see more fish and coral inside than out as the depth is better for snorkelling inside the reef. Not to mention the current that would be quite dangerous pulling you toward the reef when you're outside. That's more of a scuba thing, when you can dive the wall that drops off. Bora Bora is probably the most amazing snorkelling I've ever seen, as mentioned above, but I've seen turtles, octopus and SHARKS in Fiji and in Bora Bora inside the reef. In Raro, watch for the beautiful blue star fish and lots of sea cucumbers. Aitutaki's snorkelling would definitely be better.

Just a note, last time in Raro and especially in Aitutaki, it was a neccessity to have water shoes for stone fish and they help with the coral too. You should definitely have those (can buy them there).

Hope this helps.

socal
posts: 23
reviews: 4
6. Re: snorkel outside the reef?

We bought nice snorkel gear and water socks that have a rubber bottom. the set came with fins , but I am wondering how to work that since you need to be careful of the coral and the stone fish. I have heard fins make it much easier to snorkel. Are the stonefish mainly in the coral or are they imbedded in the sand?

If the rays and the turtles come in the lagoon, whats to keep the sharks out???

Cgirl

S.F.
posts: 6,223
reviews: 10
7. Re: snorkel outside the reef?

Cgirl, do not worry about seeing sharks on an average snorkel excursion. I took seven trips to Bora Bora and snorkelled for about 90 minutes a pop nearly every day. never saw a shark. The biggest thrill for me was being followed by a huge Manta. Yes, sharks are inside the reefs but they are much nearer to the reef than the beach. Bora Bora has only one break in it's barrier reef, the bigest sharks are found there and of course in the ocean. I saw sharks in the Bora lagoon but it was an excursion to feed them. Still a huge thrill. They were small "harmless" black tips. We were also within 100 yards of the reef. Been to Samoa, Fiji, and the Cooks as well, no sharks seen during normal swimming. The above poster who saw sharks in Fiji most likely saw them diving or on a feeding excursion. Sightings close to beaches are very rare.

S.F.
posts: 6,223
reviews: 10
8. Re: snorkel outside the reef?

In addition, Stonefish are usually found in murky shallows.

socal
posts: 23
reviews: 4
9. Re: snorkel outside the reef?

Thank you pub7. I was driving my husband crazy with all of this. I thought we had to get the expensive reef shoes as opposed to the fairly sturdy water socks with rubber soles I already purchased. I am ok with the small black tip shark, it is the hammer head and tiger I would not be too keen on, nor would I feel comfortable to let my son in water that they were in. Maybe outside the reef should be left for another destination.I was comparing to the carribean which we always go out in the ocean BUT they always stop by a large rock formation, you are never out in the open sea. I know there are sharks in the ocean, I just don't care to encounter with them.

Cgirl

S.F.
posts: 6,223
reviews: 10
10. Re: snorkel outside the reef?

I understand your fears and concerns. I enjoy answering what I can. Cheers, Pub