Today was a magical day on our first Tuamotu Island of Ahe. The morning sun was finally out after almost a week of cloudy skies and it turned the colors of the lagoon a rainbow of shades of blue. In the morning we decided that we were going to go on a picnic to a sandy beach nearby at the suggestion to one of the locals we had met the day before. The kids were busy getting the boat ready, making cinnamon buns and gathering things when out of nowhere five local Ahe residents (including one we met the day before, his father-in-law, brother and sister-in-law and a friend) motored over to our boat. They asked what we were doing today, and after my reply of “Beaucoup de rien de tout.” they invited us to come along with them to the other side of the reef where they were going fishing.
Kirsten was just in the process of putting Zakary to bed so she stayed behind to finish up the cinnamon buns while the rest of us all piled into their boat for a morning in the Ahe Lagoon. We gathered up our snorkeling gear, some sunscreen and water and within minutes were being whisked away to the far side of the lagoon that we had entered in through just yesterday.
Our first stop was at the fish pen’s in front of their family’s motu island. We could see some relatives constructing a building on the shore while we went to the fishing pens just offshore to check on their catches. The two fishing pens were constructed of re-bar posts and galvanized chicken wire walls. They were two semi circles and a long Y shaped funnel leading to them. After the fish entered the funneled off area they were guided into the first circular area and then into a smaller oval pen.
When we first arrived, they inspected the pens to see how many sharks were inside. Sure enough there were 3 that they were going to need to pull out of the pens. They invited the kids to go snorkeling in the area while they went to work which Jaeden, Dailin and Orin were only too happy to oblige. They then told Teyauna and Eli that they were welcome to jump into the smaller of the two pens to swim and snorkel with what was going to be their dinner. Teyauna jumped in with her life-jacket while Eli put on his snorkel and mask so that he could get a close look at the fish under the water. The kids were in absolute heaven as they splashed around in the clear blue water looking at the various types of coral and tropical fish. For the next few hours they took us from place to place while they collected their fish and went spear fishing for food. It was an unforgettable experience.