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Coral Patch Reef at Kouare New Caledonia
New Caledonia

Back in April, when I took the over-underwater sphere image here in Kouare, it was really calm and Freddy and I zoomed around looking at the coral reefs through the clear water. We checked out this massive, isolated coral patch reef and saw the big - enormous - coral head of blue-yellow Porites right next to the south eastern edge of the reef. It looked great but by then it was late afternoon. We would, I decided, take the image the next morning when it was calm.

We woke up to the sound of thunder and the flash of lightning just before dawn. The wind was up, blowing from the NE, but there was a massive line of thunderheads sliding towards us from the west. By 9 AM we had 50 knots of wind out of the west followed by torrential rain. Not very good for calm, sunny day's over-underwater photography.

From April until August the weather was really grotty - rain, wind, clouds, broken by only a day or two of nice sunny weather. Not long engough to go from Noumea to Kouare and hang around. All during this time I wanted to get back to Kouare to take the image. You know, once you think of an image you just HAVE to take it. So finally, we made it back, it was nice and sunny and calm, the water was clear, and the first thing we did was grab our gear and head over to this spot. First I got in and swam around the whole coral patch, looking for the right place to take the image. But the lighting wasn't right. It didn't look like I thought it would. The north side of the huge massive porites was in the shadow and except for a few soft corals it wasn't the great image I thought it would be. Plus I couldn't get the correct angle for the above and below the water effect.

But from above the water, from slink - our dinghy, it really looked spectacular just like back in April. So, I decided to take it from the surface and it does, indeed, look pretty good, don't you think? If you like it, please click "like" or make a comment.

Copyright: Richard chesher
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 11578x5789
Uploaded: 18/08/2013
Updated: 26/05/2014
Views:

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Tags: coral; diver; snorkel; snorkelling; seascape; nature reserve; world heritage site; coral reef; island; lagoon; kouare; big corals; patch reef; new caledonia
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New Caledonia is the closest South Pacific Island to Australia and New Zealand. It is a French Territory and although the official language is French the culture is a blend of Melanesian, European, Polynesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian, and more. There is one large mountainous island called Grande Terre and 6 smaller islands - the three Loyalty Islands, Belep and the Isle of Pines.The islands are remarkably unpopulated and there are vast areas of wilderness. There are hundreds of kilometers of walking treks, camp grounds, more than 42 parks and reserves, and crystal clear rivers with sparkling waterfalls. Almost one third of the population is located in the capital city of Noumea. Nickel mining is the primary industry and is the major contributor to the high standard of living in the country. Grande Terre is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world and the protected lagoon created by this barrier reef is the largest in the world. Listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008, the lagoon is 24,000 square kilometers and supports a diverse and luxuriant fauna of fish and invertebrates.The vibrant, clear and rich colors are one of the first things that visitors notice when they arrive. Noumea has a complete range of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and activities to welcome visitors.