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Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruises

Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruises, Rarotonga

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One of the must-do adventures on Rarotonga is to take a Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruise.

Captain Tama's vessels are thatch-roofed, glass-bottom boats that sport not only the Cook Islands flag, but also pirate skull and crossbones.

It is an ideal way to explore part of the island's lagoon, you get to snorkel, have a really good lunch and then get an entertaining show from the crew.

You head off from Muri Beach marvelling at how clear the waters are - and we went on a day that was quite windy and after a storm so things weren't as pristine as normal.

The lagoon is just lovely, its light-blue waters contrast amazingly with the dark blue sky and greenery of the coconut palm dotted islands.

Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruises, RarotongaTo our left is the protective coral reef that keeps the giant Pacific Ocean rollers at bay and the white foam of their power is impressive to see.

It is also slightly surreal as you sit in relatively calm waters and watch huge waves crashing in not that far from you.

It takes about 30 minutes to get to the snorkelling spot, which has some coral reefs and plenty of fish. There is also a big moray eel was once grumpy but has now become accustomed to being well fed.

On the day we went it was cool and pretty choppy, due to a recent storm, and the snorkelling wasn't that great for me as I didn't have flippers. Later in the day the afternoon cruise would have had perfect warm, calm weather and so snorkelling would have been fabulous.

Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruises, RarotongaBut, as all travellers know, you can't blame the tour for the weather and it was just a bit of bad luck.

After our snorkel we journeyed back to the small island just off Muri beach where we had a really nice lunch cooked by Captain Tama and Co.

The fish was waahoo and it was nicely done. There were plenty of food and then it was show time.

Captain Trouble, as he is known, is a tall Cook Islander with a really good sense of comic timing.

Captain T leads the show, which includes demonstrations of coconut husking and cutting, climbing palms to cut down the coconuts and demonstrations of various ways to use the sarong - a rectangular piece of cloth.

Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruises, RarotongaSurprisingly, the highlight was the sarong demos which were not only practical and interesting, but very funny as well. I had no idea a gal could make an evening gown out of a sarong - nor, for that matter, a two-piece bikini out of one sarong.

All in all, the Captain Tama's Lagoon Cruise was a really good way to spend a day.

Bookings are essential.

- Richard Moore


Copyright 2011 RICHARD MOORE