Wide Angle or Macro? Hmmm, difficult to answer!

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Wide Angle or Macro? Hmmm, difficult to answer!

The S/Y Fiji Siren welcomed back Ms. Heather Sutton who hailed from Australia for her 4th trip with us. Along with Heather we had 14 other guests – 10 hailing from Italy, and 4 from Germany. It was our second trip in a row with a ‘non-diver package’ so Lorena was looking to her daily massage and free bottle of wine.
With the guests on board at 2pm the Siren lifted anchor to head South to Gau – the Island of the Sharks. The crew and guests woke up to a strong Fijian Sun and calm seas – a perfect Fiji day. Many of the divers on board opted only for 2 or 3 dives for the day as cocktails, beer and wine were had as most of the guests watched the beautiful sunset from the sun deck. Indian night was the theme for dinner, and the Fiji Siren ‘House Band’ serenaded the guests throughout and after dinner.

Hammer-head2am arrived and Julian our skipper had the anchor lifted as we headed towards Wakaya Island for our second full day of diving. 3 dives during a stunning Fijian day – blue skies, light winds, and a blazing sun! The resident manta rays were in attendance on all 3 dives in increased numbers with one group having 4 stay around on one dive for an extended photo opportunity. Our local Great Hammerhead made only one appearance this day with a showing on our first dive – he must have been hunting for breakfast and got distracted! After dive 3 we heaved the anchor again and headed one and a half hours north to the calm anchorage in Makogai Bay and for our dusk dive at Vatu Vasua – or ‘Clam Rock’ translated from the Fijian. As we were entering the passage at Makogai Island, we were all treated to a family of Humpback Whales who were playing and breeching.

IMG 3956The following day the guests got to dive 3 dives off Makogai Lailai – or Little Makogai Island. 12 of our 15 guests took part in the village tour at Makogai to look at the Turtle Farm, Giant Clam Reserve and Restoration Project, the 100 year old generator that is still supplying the village with electricity, the traditional Sevusevu and of course the Meke – a traditional Fijian dance performed by the small children of the village. Everyone returned with big smiles and stories of how nice the tour was. We heaved anchor one more time and had dinner while underway steaming towards the Namena Marine Reserve where everyone on board – guests and dive crew alike were looking forward to two full days of diving the reserve.
The morning brought some nice sunshine with a little larger swell so we remained at anchor close to Namena Island, and took the dinghies out to South Save A Tack passage on our first two morning dives for the day. With a total of 4 daytime dives at South Save A Tack Passage, the guests experienced the super colorful soft corals the Reserve has to offer, and 2 dives at North Save A Tack Passage provided the ‘big stuff’ most like (sharks, schooling pelagics) along with our tiny pygmy seahorses. Jon is always finding it difficult to answer the question “Wide Angle or Macro” for the dives in the Namena Marine Reserve – as it seems all of the sites are suitable for both, or either. With 2 nights anchored off Namena and 8 dives complete in the reserve, everyone enjoyed our ‘carvery’ night – roast pork, lamb and chicken and all the side fixings! At midnight, we headed North towards Nadi passage on the southern tip of and sheltered inside the barrier reef of Vanua Levu – Fiji’s second largest Island which translated from the Fijian Means ‘Big Land’ as we headed toward Vatu-I-Ra and the Bligh Water.

DSCN1739Our final dives of the trip were at E-6, one of the top ranked dive sites in the world. We stayed moored up the reef to hide from the Southerly wind, but the sun was high in the sky and The Cathedral had Heather spending 8 plus minutes on each dive trying to perfect her Cathedral shots after winning a photo competition with WWDAS last month. Dive completed, lunch finished, we started making our way back to the Rakiraki area and Volivoli Beach Resort to anchor for the night, and enjoy the final night Bar-B-Que. The guests were serenaded by the Fiji Siren House band throughout dinner, luggage packing was finished, and everyone settled in for a good night sleep.

As we awoke to sun and beautiful weather, the guests enjoyed a final full breakfast on board, gathered their hand luggage and were wished following seas and fair travel by the crew as they listened to the always sad Fijian Good Bye Song – Isa Lei. Ciao Ciao to our guests and we hope to see you again soon.

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