Happy Birthday Jon!
Happy Birthday Jon!
Fiji Siren and her crew were ready for another 10 day excursion Beyond the Bligh! We welcomed our 16 new guests from Austria, Germany and Canada. Irena – our one non-diver – came prepared to be pampered with our ‘non-diver’ package which includes a free bottle of wine and one free massage each day !
Cabin check ins, gear set up, boat, diving and safety briefings complete, we lifted anchor and headed to Makogai looking forward to our first diving day and check out dives in the morning. We arrived in the calm bay at about 11:30pm and the guests got a good night sleep. With the first day’s dive complete everyone was set with gear, and weighting. The night dive at Makogai (Vatu Vasua which translated from the Fijian means Clam Rock) is quickly becoming a favorite for our divers. Huge Pluero Branchs, Sea Hares, Giant Clams and Turtles are common sightings on this dive and this night everyone got to see Octopi mating! Turtles are common here as the government station at Makogai has a Turtle Farm where turtles are raised and released back into the sea. There is also a Giant Clam Farm at the station.
Early the next morning we headed South to Wakaya where we had 3 dives that offered us sightings of the local Black Manta, and a few others as well as the resident Great Hammerhead. We had a late afternoon departure for Gau – the island of the Sharks – while A-la-Carte Dinner was served.
Two days of diving off Gau, with 4 of our 7 dives in Nigali Passage. The guests got their fill of Grey Reef Sharks, Barracuda, Trevally and all the little critters and more of the soft corals everyone comes to Fiji to see. At Outter Nigali Wall, some of the divers got to see very close a swimming Manta Ray! Then Fiji Siren headed North to The Garden Island of Fiji – Taveuni – and the world famous Rainbow Reef. Jon’s Birthday was celebrated during dinner with a nice cake made by the chefs, and impromptu gifts from the guests. It was a surprise for him and lots of fun. Nature was on our side, and the group wanted to do the Great White Wall two times – so we dove her on the third dive of the day on our first and second day of diving in Taveuni. Good currents had the soft corals blooming at all the other dive sites we visited on this trip which give the name to this huge reef infrastructure – Rainbow Reef.
Namena which provided more soft corals, Sharks, Mantis Shrimp, and Pygmy Seahorses – managed to bring a smile to the face of the divers. With our delayed departure from Taveuni we were only able to dive Namena for one full day – but it was a great one! As we headed north to anchor of the coast of Vanua Levu for our final night dive of this 10 day adventure – once again I began to hear low murmurs about how sad the guests will be when they depart, and how soon can they come back to do another trip with us on board the Fiji Siren. 2 dives complete in the Bligh water on our last diving day, Fiji Siren began her journey back to Volvoli Beach Resort and the Rakiraki area. Arriving at just before sunset, the crew had the final night Bar-B-Que well into preparation and the feast was devoured and enjoyed by all the guests. Something new this trip was our hermit crab races after dinner – and Chan from Canada had chosen the winning crab which was named after Jon!
As our final breakfast was being consumed the guests were saying goodbye to the crew and exchanging e-mail addresses. Group photos taken, and luggage ashore, it was time to disembark and the crew sang ‘Isa Lei’ once again wishing our guests, and new friends a Fijian Farewell, and safe travels. Until next time everyone – MOCE MADA!!!!