By the time we cut the engine, secured the boat, and launched the dinghy, it was too late for an expedition to land. The ancient ruins would have to wait. I tossed impatiently in my berth that night, wondering what we'd find. Until well into the 19th century, after all, many Polynesians had been cannibals. Would we come across a cooking pot? The skulls of unwary adventurers? A lonely ghost perhaps, wondering what laptops and iPods were doing in his ancient island home?
The following day dawned gray and misty—perfect ghost-hunting weather. We packed our dinghy with a camera and lemonade and set off along the coast. Peter was careful to avoid the minefield of coral heads. Here, in depths of two to four feet, the water was as clear and still as a pane of glass. That's when we noticed the sharks again. All around us, darting in and out of the coral and swooping right up to us like flocks of curious pigeons, were black-tipped reef sharks.
"They're just little reef sharks," Peter offered, trying to soothe me. "They won't bother you." Then his expression changed. "Wait a minute." He turned off the engine. "What the hell is that?"