Impressions of Niue An index to the slide show
by Floor Anthoni (2004)
This page contains the thumbnail images of
the 'Impressions of Niue' slide show which is available on CD. When viewed
from the CD, you can click on a link or a thumbnail to view the screen-sized
photo but these links do not work on Internet. The slide show gives impressions
of the underwater world, the magic of snorkelling and diving in ultra-clear
water, and the adventure of exploring the island's natural treasures. It
also gives impressions of Niue above water, the recent damage wrought by
Cyclone Heta, vistas of the island, villages and people and the natural
wonders that are there for all to see. To read more about Niue, its geography, history
and ecology, visit the extensive web site devoted to Niue: www.seafriends.org.nz/niue/index.htm.
go to the Seafriends home page: www.seafriends.org.nz/index.htm
Impressions of Niue under water Niue has had a thorough buffeting from Cyclone Heta in January 2004,
in fact perhaps the worst case recorded in living memory. Where people
thought to be safe from the sea, some 25m above sea level, this was proved
wrong, even though a disaster of this magnitude may never happen again.
Under water, the sea received an equal hiding resulting in totally barren
areas, completely stripped of life. But on the very sheltered Western
side of the island, cyclones are normal fare, occurring sufficiently frequently
to maintain a barren seascape. Yet these barrens are covered in fine algae,
growing at maximal rates for the dearth of nutrients dissolved in these
ultra-clear waters. The barrens maintain armies of grazers, from tiny snails
to nocturnal sea urchins and day-time grazing fish. One could say that
they maintain more life than the coral-clad slopes of the other side of
The other side, although not visited by the worst of cyclones, receives
continuous buffeting from large ocean swell, propelled by never-ending
South-East trade winds experienced as a refreshening cool sea breeze all
day and night. We ventured a dive there to bring back unique photos of
what the best of Niue under water hopes to offer. Diving here is quite
dangerous, being swept to and fro at three times walking speed, swinging
ten metres over sharp corals, ready to be ripped to shreds. Fortunately
this seascape can also be found in safer waters, near the Matavai Resort
The photos presented here were all taken in September 2004, about 9
months after Cyclone Heta struck. They hope to give you an impression of
what Niue looks like, both above and under water, and how it is recovering.
To inform yourself about Niue's history, geography, geology and much more,
visit the extensive section about Niue.
f043927: broken rocks and corals
collect in a gully near Avatele but Heta did not move them. Next cyclone
f044005: encrusting corals
on red coralline algae show some storm damage but most damage here stems
from previous storms.
f044603: bent steel beam at
the foot of Alofi in the Heta-hit depths. Notice the very barren rocks,
some recently chipped. Their dark colour is from encrusting algae.
f044611: a tree was uprooted
and lodged firmly inside this cave, not by Heta but by a previous cyclone.
f044736: a rubble canyon ground
by rubble. But it collects flying ammunition and thus saves corals elsewhere.
By yielding in one place, nature saves the surround.
f043705: the 'barren' rocks
of the NW side are covered in fine algae, scraped off by various grazers.
Large scratches by parrotfish, fine scratches by surgeonfish, triangular
marks by sea urchins
f043706: this patch is criss-cross
grazed mainly by urchins. Notice how nature always leaves some standing
crop to regenerate the loss quickly. These barrens are very productive.
Rare photos of the inaccessible South-East side of the island
between Tepa Point and Limufuafua Point
f044709: a rare photo of the
exposed SE side shows leathery corals and other corals. The leathery corals
do not break or chip easily.
f044710: not touched by cyclones,
there is still much barren rock, covered by coralline algae, the plant
that grows limestone rock.
f044711: healthy corals but
not much variety. Wave exposure is one limitation but cool water another,
and above all a lack of nutrients, necessary for all life.
f044712: Niue's pristine coast
shows healthy corals and aggregations of small fish that live from these.
f044713: leathery corals and
hard corals in profusion on the coast untouched by cyclones
f044715: large giant clams
show that exploitation is not a problem on this coast. Note the ridges
on the outside of this clam, unaffected by cyclones. Tridacna maxima.
f044717: any coral sticking
out above the rest, risks its life in this wave-pounded environment. It
shows that corals can grow tall in-between storms.
f044718: broken corals and
empty territory are also found on the 'good' SE coast, providing food for
grazing fish and snails.
Photos taken near a popular dive spot north of the Matavai Resort
f044923: coral landscape near
Matavai shows many healthy corals. Lower down, the wave action is less,
allowing brittle plate corals to grow.
f044927: the coral scape also
shows broken corals and much empty space. The competition for space is
not as strong as where waters are warmer with more nutrients.
f044720: near the Matavai Resort,
coral is still in pretty good state, like these acropora plates. But they
quickly dominate the seascape.
f044721 deeper than 25m there
has been no cyclone damage. Acropora plates dominate the seascape, shading
out all smaller corals
f044722: some coral damage
dates back to previous cyclones, while some is recent
f044723: a young plate coral
growing up and outward. Acropora hyacinthus
f044724: an acropora plate
coral with its open structure, allowing for more protected surface area
for its many little polyps.
f044726: the diver sees a variety
of corals, small fish and lots of very clear water
f044731: a pink branching coral
and others. Stylophora sp.
The underwater barrens and corals near Avatele, a popular harbour
with lagoon and good access to the sea
f044914: near Avatele, the
rocks are visited frequently enough by cyclones, for them to look barren
f044916: the sheltered side
of a coral bommy shows 50% live corals. Because corals have living algae
in their skins, they look drab.
f044918: the exposed side of
the same bommy shows only 5% of live coral, mostly deeper down.
f044921: between Avatele and
Matavai, corals become increasingly larger and abundant. This is one of
many Acropora antler coral species.
f043800: this insignificant
seaweed is hardy enough to grow in the wave-washed zone. It is tough
f043801: nearly all seaweeds
reproduce asexually by forming spreading networks of turfing roots
f044300: this red turfing seaweed
is highly successful but is somehow not eaten
f045033: near Alofi this white
mushroom seaweed can be found. It is not eaten by the many grazers.
f044036: inside a dark canyon
under a foam umbrella, coral can grow only slowly as also the red coralline
algae. Surgeonfish hang around to keep this environment clean.
f044832: a diver finds slow
growing coral under a roof window inside a cave. Such leaves of coral may
die back, then grow over the old structures again, for hundreds of years.
f044833: slow growing reddish
corals in a roof-lit cave. No signs of cyclone damage on these rather old
corals. Red leaf coral, Montipora sp.
f044835: where it becomes pitch
dark, the night shift sleeps like these red squirrel fish. This photo was
taken with preset distance and other settings, pointing the camera
into a dark hole. Sargocentron spiniferum
f044610: caves and canyons
are found everywhere, fun to explore. The ones near Alofi support growth
of green algae.
f043503: brown coral polyps
half extended by day to catch the most sunlight. Corals have brown algae
in their tissues.
f044204: at night the coral
polyps compete for space while trying to catch small plankton particles
f043505: during the day the
polyps hide deep between the hard protecting ribs
f043510: by day this encrusting
coral has its polyps withdrawn but bright sunlight penetrates. Both Porites
and Acropora are found in rockpools as they survive being out of
the water for a while.
f044208: detail of Acropora
coral shows complicated structure and small polyps. This coral follows
a complicated growth pattern by which it eventually forms a mushrooming
plate above other corals
f044926: detail of acropora
plate coral showing how it creates maximal surface area and space in-between
for its polyps.
f044211: a type of honeycomb
coral extends its tissues by day but retracts its tentacles.
f044321: closeup of an unidentified
coral with a smooth surface.
f044920: die-back appears to
be common in corals. Here a pink Stylophora coral is invaded by
red coralline algae
f043928: a diver holds wandering
slipper mushroom coral for size comparison. Slipper coral Herpolitha
f043929: wandering slipper
coral is not attached. Storms keep it moving and on top of others. It is
a good survival strategy. They can even lift themselves up.
f044930: a diver demonstrates
size and shape of a wandering slipper coral. By night it extends long polyps.
f044012: this fine structured
coral offers space to burrowing christmas tree fan worms in all colours.
f044014: a massive boulder
star coral remains unscathed from the storm.
f044015: these scratches are
bite marks from parrot fish. They are quite rare as parrot fish mainly
graze on the algal turf growing on coralline algae
plankton feeding fish
f043530: juvenile banded flag-tails
in a small rock pool. Kuhlia taeniura (Cuvier & Valenciennes)
or Kuhlia mugil?
f044318: banded flag-tail almost
invisible just under the surface near shallow rocks. In the foreground
an Achilles tang.
f045008: banded flag-tail are
almost invisible, but so are the pipers and grey mullets.
f043533: these small basslets
are found even in very small rock pools. In the back lives a moray eel.
f044221: black and white basslet
looks like snow when schooling.
f043535: the most prominent
fish of Niue is perhaps this tiny rock skipping blenny, living half out
of the water. It can move very fast bent in this u-shape which forms two
legs: head and tail. Istiblennius edentulus
f043815: this rock skipper
blenny was photographed above water, where it prefers to be. They are so
f043821: two blennies side
by side, related to the rock skipper (male and female?). Little fish like
these may well be endemic, which means they are found nowhere else but
f043826: two blennies of different
kind sharing a burrow to watch the photographer. They are so cute.
f043617: this purple cardinal
fish is out at night to feed on plankton but here it shies away from the
f043628: four-spot butterfly
fish (Chaetodon quadrimaculatus)
f044219: long-nose butterflyfish
can feed from deep narrow holes. Forcipiger flavissimus (Jordan
& McGregor, 1898)
f043708: a white-tipped soldierfish
active by night. Behind it a finelined squirrelfish. Myripristis
vittata (Cuvier, 1831)
f043716: a fine-lined squirrelfish,
actively feeding on plankton by night. It has a long anal fin.
Sargocentron microstoma (Guenther, 1859)
f044215: a delicately tailed
demoiselle or damselfish.
f044229: a blue spotted trevally
looks almost invisible in the clear water. Blue jack,
f043612: this convict surgeonfish
is named after the stripes found on a convict's overalls. Acanthurus
triostegus (Linnaeus, 1758)
f043718: convict surgeonfish
in pyjamas, shows blotches on its sides
f043618: surgeon fishes are
some of the gaudiest coloured fishes on the reef. They graze by day and
sleep at night. Acanthurus sp.
f043631: a beautiful speckled
surgeonfish photographed at night. Acanthurus guttatus (Bloch &
f045020: speckled surgeon fish
at night Acanthurus guttatus
f045103: a school of speckled
surgeonfish patrolling the shallows for grazing their fluffy algae
f044111: deep blue velvet surgeon
fish by night. Acanthurus nigricans (Acanthurus aliala)
f044131: orange and blue Achilles
tang at night keeps its daylight colours while sleeping. Acanthurus
f044315: orange/blue Achilles
surgeonfishes interacting with the divers, being both curious and wary.
f043737: parrotfishes are large
and shy by day, but by night they are deep asleep in narrow caves
f044130: an exquisitely coloured
parrotfish deep asleep. A vast number of different parrotfish are found
f045001: typical parrot fish
gauge marks in soft rock
f043806: these wild sergeant-major
fish became tame within minutes of being fed. Abudefduf sordidus
f044937: a rare peacock
flounder in Avatele harbour. There is little sandy habitat, but this flounder
changes its colours as it moves over various rock forms, and is fascinating
to watch. Here it has its swimsuit on, pale with blue flowers. Bothus
mancus (Brousonet, 1782)
most fish are plant eaters, scraping algae off the coral rocks. Here one
sees various species of surgeonfish and sergeant-majors.
The larger rock pools are tranquil and hold a lot of fish
predators and predating fish
f043511: sea snakes are very
common. This one has folded itself into a shallow hole and is sleeping
but even so it must surface now and then for a breath of air
f043517: closeup of a sea snake
shows sharp eyesight and very small mouth which can still open wide. It
has very small fangs backed by a lot of powerful poison.
f043620: a small octopus withdraws
into its den. Notice the many grazing snails.
f043622: this spotted rock
cod is a small grouper.
Epinephelus hexagonatus (Bloch & Scheider)
f043719: banded moray eel enjoys
protection because it looks somewhat like a poisonous sea snake (Gymnothorax
f044316: this white spotted
brown moray is a white-mouth moray. Gymnothorax meleagris
f045013: a well-camouflaged
large octopus at night
invertebrate grazers and detritivores
f043513: this spiny snail has
a narrow opening to fend predators off. It grazes on the wave-swept coral
f043514: don't step on this
sharp snail that grazes in the most wave-washed places
f043731: this beautiful
cowry actively grazes in deeper water by night. Cypraea sp.
f043732: underneath, this cowry
shows fine colour patterns around its narrow opening
f043819: grazing cowries like
this one are quite common on the shallow flats, but they are collected
for decorative purposes
f220625: don't step on this
sturdy little grazing snail, little bigger than a thumb nail.
f220630: the most amazing
of all survivors is this little black urchin, living in the worst of the
wave wash, inside its burrows and trenches. With some difficulty also a
limpet (centre-right) and a spined snail (top-left) can be found.
f043600: this fluffy sea cucumber
comes out at night to lick the rocks clean (Stichopus horrens)
f043904: on of the most amazing
creatures is this large armoured sea cucumber, growing to almost one metre
f043906: a diver holds an armoured
'pineapple' sea cucumber for size.
f043909: diver holding
a medium sized armoured sea cucumber
f044212: detail of the rear
of an armoured sea cucumber, Thelenota ananas
f044213: detail of the front
of an armoured sea cucumber
f044800: diver finds a large
armoured sea cucumber
f044801: thousands of
tube feet give it secure holdfast against storms
f044802: its back is armoured
with thick leathery scales, protecting it against sand blasting and flying
the harmonica sea cucumber shrinks to an insignificant blob by day but
extends at night to over one metre in length. It removes detritus from
where it lives.
mouth of a harmonica sea cucumber, removing detritus.
sea urchins are perhaps the most successful grazers on the barrens of the
reefs (Echinometra mathaei)
a tiny needle urchin has left its hideout to graze at night (Echinothrix
a black robust needle urchin is one of the largest urchins on the grazed
a long-spined needle urchin out by night. Being able to fold its thin long
spines, it can creep into small cracks to sleep by day. Diadema setosum
white spined needle urchin (Echinothrix calamaris)
hollow-spined needle urchin comes out only by night (Echinothrix calamaris)
hollow-spined needle urchin folded its spines for least water drag (Echinothrix
a short-spined purple/orange urchin appears to read the latest news (Tripneustes
sea urchins survive hurricanes inside the holes they dig
a colony of needle urchins thriving in the worst of a rubble gully
this tube snail lives in a hollow tube cemented to the rock. It catches
plankton but also casts a sticky net to be more effective. It then pulls
the net in and gobbles its own web inclusive of plankton particles that
stick to it
detail of the tube of a tube snail (Dendropoma maxima)
the giant clam filters seawater for fine plankton. It is sought after because
it contains much tasty flesh which can be removed easily without removing
the heavy shell, locked into the coral matrix. Tridacna maxima
the tridacna giant clam has a mantle with single-celled plants that grow
in sunlight. They provide the clam's main food. Tridacna maxima.
this dense feather star comes out by night where it seeks a position in
detail of a feather star does not quite show its very fine tube feet
this species of feather star does not move much and is out by day
this feather star hides by day. By night it coils up in the glaring dive
a feather star walking on all legs, pushing from behind and pulling from
the front, it walks towards bottom left. They can cover 2-5 metres a minute!
a baby featherstar grows its arms one by one as it matures.
a deep red serpent star on a purple coral is regrowing some of its arms.
detail of a red serpent star. Leiaster speciosus
christmas tree fan worms have delicate double spirals and a closing disc.
gaudily coloured christmas tree fan worms. Spirobranchus giganteus
christmas tree fan worms by night over a host coral with extended polyps
one can never get enough of christmas tree fan worms
this unassuming sea slug is the famous Spanish dancer with its wide wings
furled alongside its body. When it swims, it spreads its red wings with
white circles, a breathtaking view to behold. Unfortunately, this was the
last photo on film. Hexabranchus sanguineus
the weak-shelled shore crab has a beautiful disruptive pattern. It moves
very fast with its long legs, both in and out of the water.
Grapsus grapsus tenuicrustatus.
the juvenile weak-shelled shore crab is almost invisible.
Grapsus grapsus tenuicrustatus
a small crab species, living in pairs along the high tide mark.
Plagusia depressa tuberculata.
All crabs, shrimps and crayfish carry their eggs until they hatch, which
one of many swim crabs by night.
a side-spined paddle crab at night.
this flat crab colours well with its protective host, a hollow spined needle
urchin. Percnon planissimum
the banded cleaner shrimp lives in pairs for life. During the day they
advertise themselves clearly underneath overhangs for their fishy clientele.
detail of a banded cleaner shrimp. These shrimps are very similar to those
found in NZ. It does not risk its life in search of food, because its food
is brought towards it as sea lice on the skins of fish.
banded cleaner shrimp in full glory. Stenopus hispidus
this red cleaning shrimp usually lives near eels and cleans them while
sharing in their food
a large-clawed hermit crab has collected anemones to protect its soft abdomen.
because its house is so light, this anemone-covered hermit crab is able
to make away fast
a very pretty white-and-pink feeler crayfish. Panulirus panversicolor.
The French call it a white mustache.
the common green rocklobster is sought after for food. They can congregate
in some caves, jealously kept secret by villagers.
snorkelling and swimming
a swimmer explores Limu Pools where living coral is found and various species
snorkeldiver in a tranquil pool with some fresh water on top
Cyclone Heta's damage
f220937: before Cyclone Heta
these headlands were covered in dense scrub. Coral headlands extending
into coral flats are typical of Niue. The photo shows how far and high
the waves reached, removing all vegetation.
f220420: trees stripped and
palms lost but already young ones planted. But recovery from this serious
storm will take longer than usual.
f220421: the flame tree, ready
to burst into flower, is used to losing its foliage, and survived with
f220426: a summer-deciduous
shade tree survived but government buildings on the horizon perished. People
complained that some still good buildings were bulldozed too.
f220427: 30 metres of bush
perished and was bulldozed over, but shoots sprout from the rubble. The
bush will recover in due time.
f220431: ancient corals exposed
in solid limestone rock show erratic structure. Some corals are found upside
down and random rocks are embedded.
f220432: an erratic jumbled
rock structure due to millions of years of hurricanes. It resembles the
situation under water. The resulting rock is always porous.
f220433: deep chasms breaking
through the jumbled limestone. These enable large storms to deposit water
and debris far inland
f220434: rust waiting for the
ship that never comes. Ironically, the soils here are craving for these
f220437: Cyclone Heta has added
more rust to the metals dump.
f220603: the tops of houses
destroyed by wind, their foundations by waves
f220604: houses that stood
many cyclones close to the sea, have been destroyed completely
f220605: the foundations and
polished cool living floors are all that is left. But in the background
a house survived. What lessons can be learnt?
f220606: all that's left of
the community centre and library, with its manicured gardens
f220925: the one-walled Mission
Church stands as a stern reminder of nature's forces
f221236: little is left of
the once prestigious Niue Hotel, its accommodation blocks and manicured
Impressions of the
f220503: a blow hole at Anaana
Point sends waves 30m up in the air, and the sea does not even look wild.
The coast turned away from hurricanes experiences the constant fury of
large swells whipped up by never abating trade winds, which blow at a modest
breeze of 15-20 knot (30-40km/h)
f220505: beaches like this
at the Togulu sea track near Tamakautoga village, are rare. But the deep
water is still far out behind the smooth coralline ledge.
f220506: the sand is unpolluted
and so is the sea, with its crystal clear water but sandy beaches are very
small and few.
f220510: at high tide the trade
swell dumps and spills its froth over the coral platforms. At such times
the sea is dangerous, and this is the fate of the coast turned to the trade
f220521: because of the steep
cliffs all around the island, sea tracks are important.
f220523: this purple-leafed
coastal lily is very hardy. It resists salt spray and can grow in next
to no soil at all.
f220527: the access road has
been destroyed which affects village life considerably. Where access to
the sea is very good, a road leads to a boat ramp.
f220528: this is one of three
places of good access to deep water, and the road has been destroyed. Notice
the canoes and palm leaves to cover them up with, against piercing sunlight.
f220533: these rocks at Limu
Pools were entirely covered in lush bush, which has been cleared by Heta.
The picnic tables (see the concrete blocks) set in an idyllic surround,
have also been washed away.
f220633: a tranquil view from
Niue. Coconut trees overlooking an azure blue sea.
f220636: at Avatele boat ramp
boats are lowered into the water by crane, rather than by backing the trailer
into the brine
f220637: Heta did not wash
away the Washaway Cafe. This part of the coast was little affected, although
the sea washed around and through the cafe.
f220704: the Avatele boat ramp
has ample canoe parking. It is an economically important harbour.
f220718: many sea tracks lead
through a sea cave to the sea like this one at the end of an overgrown
f220719: access to the coral
flats through a sea cave
f220720: the entire coast is
surrounded by a coral flat like this. These flats do not consist of sharp
corals but they are made by coralline algae on which green and brown algae
grow. Notice the mysterious round rock pools and interconnecting channels.
f220820: outrigger canoes waiting
for calmer seas or for their owners to return from overseas.
f220827: canoes seeking sea
for a spot of fishing before sunset.
f221228: due to the soils being
poor, agriculture is done on a rotational plan (midden system),
leaving much land fallow.
f221229: the rotational midden
system of agriculture looks messy but is sustainable
f220513: taro plants in the
low light of a setting sun
f220516: the taro root is a
main staple in the diet of Niueans. It grows slowly and accumulates starch
over many years.
f220519: ancestors are well
looked after with flowers that don't perish immediately.
f220710: typical coastal forest
- looking towards the sun
f220711: typical coastal forest
- looking away from the sun
f220712: in villages like Vaiea,
houses surround the village green with church and meeting hall. All villages
are aware of POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants), shown in signs initiated
by the United Nations. However, POPs are the least of Niue's worries.
f220713: one of the many abandoned
houses. Four out of five houses are empty because their owners now live
in Auckland, Niue's biggest city. This house still has an asbestos roof,
which is now perceived a health hazard even though no asbestos related
sickness has been recorded.
f220714: information overload?
People leaving Niue is a huge problem. The remaining ones are mainly children,
the old and infirm, but few workers.
f220715: several varieties
of banana are grown on Niue but soils are fickle. It is not predictable
where they will grow best. Many grow 'wild' but are looked after and harvested
f220716: pawpaw also grow well
in the wild and they taste very nice.
f220724: like elsewhere in
the tropics, much of the forest is dominated by climbing vines
f220729: Niue has large coloured
spiders, but this picture exaggerates
f220816: these trees on crutches
are mangrove trees. Did Niue once have mangroves? It once was an atoll
with a large lagoon, about one million years ago.
f220817: a stout mangrove tree
on stilt roots. Pandanus leaves are used for intricate weaving of detailed
baskets and mats.
f221323: a fishing trip begins
with a flight by crane, since all boats must be able to leave the sea.
Niue does not offer any boat shelter against hurricanes.
f221403: a good catch after
two hours of dawn trolling. Large tuna like these yellowfin and albacore
are found within 1km offshore.
life on land
f220829: coconut crabs are
threatened by being eaten and by being run over as this one we met on the
road by night. It has disappeared from many other islands. Birgus latro
f220831: already 30 years old,
this foot-sized crab may not escape the pot. But for now it is safe under
the admiring eyes of the photographer. Who could eat such a beautiful animal,
so unique in the animal kingdom?
f220832: the uga (pronounce
oongah) in a submissive pose. The coastal road running through its main
territory, is a death trap for many semi-coastal animals.
f220912: the coastal road also
threatens land crabs that play Russian roulette with motor cars. Fortunately
the locals drive slowly and they are adept at dodging them
f220914: a land crab considers
crossing the road. These land crabs depend on the sea to complete their
life cycle. Females deposit their eggs in the sea where the larvae develop
into young crabs before climbing on the land.
f220918: feisty female land
crab brandishing her claws. Geograpsus crinipes
f221121: a purple land crab
on the road. Geograpsus grayi
f221123: a large female purple
land crab defending her brood of eggs under her abdomen. Geograpsus
f221125: a purple rock crab
attacked this cord and left her claws behind, a ploy to distract attackers.
f220922: large red land crab
uses one of its long legs like a blind man's cane. Discoplax longipes
f220924: many land crabs face
death on the road as road kill, like this large red crab. Discoplax
f220902: a swarm of butterflies
draws attention. Cyclone Heta upset the normal ecological cycles. Pests
of caterpillars and no birds to eat them, are followed by swarms of butterflies.
f220909: after rains, butterflies
descend on spongy leaves to drink water
places to see - Avaiki
f220612: through this impressive
cave one can reach the sea at Avaiki near Makefu village
f220613: impressive and colourful
dripstone formations but the sea stormed through to destroy all vegetation
inland. Notice the many colours of red, brown and green algae able to live
here because daylight enters from two sides.
f220614: the seaward side of
Avaiki cave is clearly subjected to storm damage.
f220616: the rock pools at
Avaiki are colourful and full of life. In the background the swimming pool
f220620: the main pool is like
swimming inside a cathedral. Crystal clear sea water overlaid by cool fresh
water. But no swimming is allowed here on Sundays.
f220622: spectacular colours
of encrusting life in the main pool of Avaiki
f220723: the Togo sea track
leads through some nice native coastal forest.
f220815: the end of the forest
is marked by a lonely coconut tree, warped by winds. From the top of the
ridge, one descends to the Alofi platform surrounding the whole
f220732: the Togo track leads
through an alien landscape of razor sharp pinnacles where plants are forbidden.
These sharp rocks were formed by wind-driven saltwater raindrops excavating
ancient sharp coral organisms.
f220733: this is the landscape
that belongs to the coast facing away from cyclones. It consists of ancient
coral rocks in which the corals are still largely whole while pointing
f220811: the rocks here are
very sharp indeed due to ancient corals carved out by rain drops
f221523: raindrops excavated
this coral structure, as sharp as if it were still alive today
f221524: a million year old
coral, excavated by rain drops. The dark paint consists of lichens that
can live almost anywhere from the moisture and fertility in the air.
f221525: the excavated sharpness
in detail is uncanny
f220734: in this hostile landscape
lies a hidden oasis inside a chasm, complete with forbidden palm trees
f220735: the Togo chasm contains
a beach and palm trees and more hidden treasures
f220737: descent into the chasm
is steep and deep. No OSH here.
f220927: a tethered uga
of some 40 years old sells for NZ$15. Males grow much larger than females.
At ten years of age, coconut crabs are only fist-sized. Birgus latro
f220928: coconut crabs are
rather varied in their colours. 50-year old males are truly awesome but
this one is only 30 years old.
f220930: the show day also
offers produce for sale like gigantic taro roots, strange bananas and more
f220935: counting a few hundred
participants means a large island turnout
f221101: the local parties
are well catered to but the food tastes bland
f221205: the Saturday is used
for communal working bees like this one replacing an asbestos roof
the Ship arrives
f221404: heavy equipment for
shifting containers, waiting for the Ship to arrive. Reef Shipping
has a large permanent investment here to support its shipping operation.
f221405: neatly stacked empty
containers are waiting for the ship which incurred delays
f221421: the container ship
has arrived and is swinging around its anchor for a stern line to the shore.
f221422: heavy container moving
equipment is readied - trucks, loaders and forklifts.
f221423: the first full containers
have been unloaded; from the ship into barges and from there onto land.
It can be a tricky operation in unfavourable conditions but today the sea
is unusually calm.
f221424: much depends on this
crane. Containers are loaded onto transporters by the wharf crane and must
be unloaded with this crane to free the transporters up again. If one breaks
down, the ship's departure is delayed.
a new future
f221006: will these girls have
babies in Niue or Auckland? Educated through a NZ education system with
English as main language, they are well prepared either way.
f221037: will these young lads
stay or leave? Niue needs fit men prepared to bolster the revival of Niue's
economy, but Auckland's way of life beckons.
f221401: the new fish factory
nearing completion but will there be enough fish and which men and women
will go out after them? Will there be ships suitable for this special task?
Will the catch reach distant shores?
f221203: a vanilla plantation
in the rain. Vanilla is an orchid, of which the valuable black dried seed
pods are used. Being a shade loving vine, it is trained on a living shade
tree and draped in loops around it.
f220708: a young nonu tree,
already bearing fruit. Nonu juice is believed a health panacea, in eager
f221520: the nonu fruit on
which much of future prosperity depends. Organically grown or wild nonu
is even more valuable.
f221527: tens of thousands
of nonu saplings in long rows await the tribulations of the dry season,
yet to come. The vagaries of nature are large.
f221530: the nonu processing
plant is nearing completion, hoping for rich harvests from the forest and
from own plantings
f221534: photography by Floor
Anthoni email@example.com. All photos are available in high resolution