Last Friday, we had a really glorious day at Ilôt Mato. There was not a breath of wind in the morning and the water was so still and clear it was like our boats were floating in air! We could see our anchor beneath as clear as day – in 40 feet of water. Needless to say, it was a perfect day to go snorkeling. I joined up with the crew of s/v Moira and we headed out in their dinghy. We went out of the surrounding reef over shallow water. The sensation of running 15 knots over the shallow water was amazing! We could see the reef, and the fish startled by our sudden appearance. We saw a shark, turtles, large trevally, jacks, and more.
We went to the north side of the reef and did some snorkeling, then we moved back to the inside of the reefs near the main island and snorkeled the reef near the boats. We took pictures of our boats floating on the still water with clearly visible reef in the foreground. Richard took a 360 panorama of a huge coral head and the rest of the reef while his wife and I snorkeled around the reef and watched the fish.
You can see our photos of Mato, pictures that s/v Callisto took from their mast, pictures I took from the top of the island, pictures of first day of snorkeling, pictures of the still water, and the second day of snorkeling – all in the album below. These photos will show you why we really like this place! (There will be 46 when they finish uploading)
Just after we finished the snorkeling, clouds started moving in, and the wind picked up. The next day it was blowing 25 knots of wind! We stayed another day at Mato and waited for the winds to die off. We left the next day in light winds for Prony Bay. But, before we got there the winds picked up again and we had some tricky sailing. Eventually we had to douse the sails with 30+ knots of wind! More on Prony Bay in an upcoming post.