Here is a second page of photos from Suwarrow. Suwarrow, also known as Suvarov is an isolated atoll located between the Northern and Southern Cook Islands. The atoll is a National Park belonging to the Cook Islands. The only way to visit this little slice of paradise is to arrive in your own boat. There is a Park caretaker and his family resident there for five months of the year. They live a very simple life and welcomed us into their home and their lives for an unforgettable experience.
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The reef that rings the atoll is truly amazing. For the most part, it lies just below the surface waiting to catch unwary boats. It is quite wide and does a fantastic job of breaking the strength of approaching swells. At low tide when there is just a few inches of water over the reef, it makes a great place to explore. At night the dents in the surface of the reef are home to tasty lobsters. On the ocean side of the reef, the depth plummets to over 1,000 feet within a quarter of a mile making it feel like you’re standing at the edge of the world.
Love these coconut crabs which look like a large combination of crab and lobster wearing tie-dye colours. I also like to borrow a term from Stephen King and call them lobstrosities.
John, his wife Veronica and their four boys live in Suwarrow for five months every year. They are the caretakers representing the National Park. You couldn’t ask for more gracious hosts. They gladly share this very special place with the crews of all the cruising boats that pass through each year. We made some very special memories in this place and many of them feature the Samuela family.
The boys on the island put on quite a show each day near sunset. They gather together all the fish scraps from the day’s catch and then call the sharks in to a specific spot well away from places where people swim or anchor. It’s really quite impressive to see this array of black and white tip and gray reef sharks swim in close enough to touch for the resulting feast.
An interesting couple of photos below. Susan really enjoyed learning some simple palm frond weaving from Veronica. What every Cook Islander knows how to do from early childhood took some time to master. Every day at Seven Islands included a snorkel trip. The second photo is of the standard collection of feet in our dinghy on the way to the day’s chosen spot. Note the blue tape bandaids on Scott’s feet.
The water clarity and the coral garden formations at Seven Islands are unrivaled in our experience.
There was no shortage of tasty fish in Suwarrow but you had to be fast with your spear gun or your fishing rod or you’re bound to lose your catch to the sharks.