|Inner Gulf Adventure Snorkel Trip Report
Saturday 22nd of Feb 2020
Images from the day
We started the day excitedly waiting for the water taxi to pick us up. While we waited Sophie gave us the safety briefing for the day. When the water taxi arrived, we formed a train to load up the water taxi. Before we knew it, we were on an adventure.
The trip to Otata Island was like being on a roller-coaster, a bit wavy to say the least. The first thing I noticed about the island was all the shells on the beach that were still intact and not destroyed by overcrowded foot traffic. Once we all arrived at Otata Island we were greeted by the Neureuter sisters, that had been spending the summer living on the island. Once we had another safety briefing, it was finally time to suit up and hit the water.
When we entered the water, we found so many different varieties of fish and marine organisms. On my first snorkel I found a massive eagle ray, spotties, snapper, parore and leather-jackets. After spending an hour in the water, we stopped for lunch.
After lunch, we went for a walk around the island. During the walk it started to bucket down with rain and the group I was with decided to hunker under a massive Pohutukawa tree. I ended up doing a rain dance because the island was so dry, and it was a relief to the trees that it was raining. The Neureuter sisters were so lovely and let us find shelter at their family bach. They bought around milos and hot chocolates to keep the hypothermia at bay.
Once the rain eased off, we were back in the water at the beach on the other side of the island. This time around we were on a mission to find an octopus, we were looking in all the nooks and crannies. Unfortunately, the octopus were too camouflaged and hidden for us to find on that day. After our last and final snorkel, it was time to un-suit and pack up for the day.
Due to the choppy conditions of the sea it was a bit difficult getting onto the boat. Thanks to Sophie and the Neureuter sisters, we were able to get all of our gear and participants safely onto the boat.
A special thanks goes out to the crew at Experiencing Marine Reserves, Auckland Sea Shuttles for getting us there and back safely and the Neureuter sisters, without whom, opportunity for this amazing adventure would not have been possible.
-- Written by Summer Johnston