SUWARROW

More hidden treasures

Photo: Daniel Paull

East Island - features include pink sand and a natural hot pool

Home Island 

Anchor​age Island

Just three of the islets in the beautiful lagoon

False Killer Whale

AN OCEAN OF SURPRISES

The treasures of Suwarrow are not only on land.....Dr Graham Wragg ran a company operating regular tourist trips to the island from Rarotonga and shared his memories

"The highlight for me was videoing pods of false killer whales - they are very big animals (about the size of a good sized bull) and very, very inquisitive.

We discovered another dive site on the same trip that I have named "predator point". It has 30 grey reef sharks in residence, 200 golden trevally, 10 chevron barracudas, plus white-tip and black-tip reef sharks, black coral and at the time I was there, five very incredulous scuba divers (actually that is four divers from my boat, plus me).

Now a little advice for novice divers...it is not a good idea to open your mouth in amazement when underwater!

Did I also mention discovering the only site in the Cook Islands with Manta rays - gentle giants that you can touch as they fly by?" 

Manta Ray

The lagoon is teeming with colourful life including batfishes, moorish idol starfish and groupers.

All but the whale picture are from a stunning collection on the web site of amateur photographer, Marcus Gleinig. I am grateful for his permission to use his pictures on this site. He took them on a trip with Graham Wragg. The whale picture is courtesy of Pacific Expeditions Ltd

THROUGH A VISITOR'S EYES

Janna Cawrse fell in love with Suwarrow while sailing around the Pacific with her newlywed husband, Graeme Esarey. "Not your typical honeymoon cruise!", she told me...but it was a visit which has inspired her to start work on her own book about the island. Graeme took the stunnning pictures  which give an insight into why Janna loved it so much

In his book "An Island to Oneself", Tom Neale tells the remarkable story of how he decided in 1952 to reconstruct this ancient pier which was originally built from coral blocks in the days when copra production was at its height. All but the foundations had been destroyed in a hurricane in 1942 - a story related in Robert Dean Frisbie's book "Island of Desire".

Tom single-handedly, painstakingly and without any tools, pushed massive blocks out of the sea, along the beach and into position....only to see his work destroyed within days of completion by a a great storm. The pier was rebuilt again some years ago with the help of visiting yachtsmen, but is again in need of repair.

Despite its idyllic beauty, Suwarrow still has only two permanent residents - a caretaker and his wife. And they're only on the island from April to October because it's not safe after that becuase of the threat from hurricanes. The 2004 caretaker, Ioane “Papa John" Kaitara says grace for visiting yachstmen befofe a "potluck" dinner

Janna and Graeme's boat, the S/V Dragonfly at anchor off Suwarrow