Sharks, mantas, pygmy sea horses and to finish with… a hammerhead! This is Fiji!

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Sharks, mantas, pygmy sea horses and to finish with… a hammerhead! This is Fiji!

With the crew ready and waiting we boarded our next group of divers aboard the S/Y Fiji Siren. This time around we have a very good mix of people with four American from Hawaii, one solo German, three divers from Denmark and three from Australia. To start of this trip we jumped straight into the water for a quick check out dive at Bula Maker. We would be spending our first day diving around the Volivoli area to some of the great sites we have here in the Bligh Waters. This proved to be a grand idea as we saw a manta ray swimming by with a brief stop to say hello to one of the groups along with black tip, white tip and grey reef sharks galore, adding this to the already spectacular multi colored soft corals blooming in the current. Some of the sites we dove were Dream Maker and Breath Taker. Having such a great dive to start us off really set the precedent for the whole week.

IMG 3674Our next location was out to Vatu-I-Ra. We got onto some of our favorite sites such as Maytag and Mellow Yellow but we also managed to have the perfect tide to be able to get onto Howards Diner. What a treat it was to be able to get onto this site this time round. We had quite possibly one of the best dives ever on Maytag first thing in the morning with the ‘A’ Team dropping on the pinnacle and simply sitting on some rock staring out into the blue watching the large grey reef sharks circling about in the distance, the big school of Jacks up close, a school of Barracuda swimming around above and then many many more small fish including a school of bait fish being chased around by the masses. While this was happening the Dream Team was looking at some of the smaller life out on Mellow Yellow. We happen to come across a scorpion fish, and orangutan crab crawling across the rock face and multitudes of Nudis all over the place. It was hard to leave this area and continue on to the next place but knowing we may miss out on something else we carried on with our journey to Makogai Island.

reef-sharks-02Waking up to the sunrise pushing up over the island it was always bound to be a day not to forget. We had clear blue skies and very little movement in the waters around the boat. Our first sites for the day were to Pinball and Dominoes where there were literally hundreds of Anthias swarming the tops of the reef. We had a couple of swim through at Dominoes and a few small white tips cruising by. Late afternoon, we decided it was time to put the sails up for a few photos with the weather being so good. We had a 5 hour trip to Namena so this was a good opportunity for us to take the tenders out and have a couple of spins around the Fiji Siren for people to get the best shots they could. This time around we would be spending 2 days at Namena to dive around and see what we could find. Black Forest and Neds were the first two sites on the agenda and they truly showed what it was like to be diving in Fiji with all the soft corals coming out in full bloom making for magnificent dives. After lunch we headed to the north and Grand Central Station. We had amazing dive drifting down the 300m plus depth of wall passing into the north passage. To try and fit as many of the spectacular dives we could we did some twilight dives. The first of which was at School House which had us drop in on quite a few grey reef and black tip reef sharks. We didn’t want to get out! As the sun dropped down over the ocean signaling the end of the day, the Fiji Siren Rubber Band came out and partied on through the night introducing Kava to everyone and playing a mix of local songs.

IMG 4859Chimneys being our first dive of the next day had us waking up immediately upon entering the water with 30m plus visibility and nice 30 degree water making like a warm bath. This site being so big we had a long dive swimming over and around some of the larger pinnacles before heading to South-Save-A-Tack Wall. We had a couple of small sharks pass by but mostly we were going in and out of small caves and swim throughs while coming in the South Passage ending up close to the Fiji Siren. The afternoon brought us back to the North Passage and the Arch. We managed to find our pygmy sea horse once again. There were multiple sharks coming in close to check us out, schools of jack and even a few barracuda. We ended this dive out by Kansas where we found our scorpion leaf fish finishing by hanging onto the pole stuck into the top of the reef for our safety stop. Nemo’s Playground was our last dive in Namena for this trip. A stand-alone pinnacle starting nice and shallow with Anemone fish all over it and potato coral was a good way to finish off the Marine Reserve.

Hammer-headFor the last diving day of the trip we headed all the way back to Vatu-I-Ra and E-6. We had the ‘A-Team’ jump directly off the Fiji Siren and swim the 20m to the reef where they started their dive at the Cathedral finishing around the wall. The “Dream Team’ was dropped off on the far side of the pinnacle which let to tow guest aiming to swim the whole way around this huge site. They made about half way in 65minutes which was a very good effort indeed. The Last dive for this group was at Mount Mutiny where Peter did make it around the whole site in just over 60minutes swimming back to the boat. For the third time running at this site we have had guests come back with reports of a hammerhead swimming around down at about 30m. Combine this with the Rainbow wall along the southern side make for one excellent dive and the best way to finish the tour around the Lomoviti. Thank you to all the guests it was a fantastic trip and we couldn’t asked for better people to spend the week with.
Vinaka Vake Levu. Rani

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