A beautiful week diving Fiji!
A beautiful week diving Fiji!
The Fiji Siren and her crew were ready for a 7 night cruise around the Lomoviti Group of Island with a well-seasoned Fijian dive team from Ultimate Dive Travel. As we had all divers on board and all briefings done, we took off immediately for the island of Gau for our first dives through the Nigali Passage. As everyone from the group had spent a couple of days at Volivoli Beach Resort we had all the weight checks done and all equipment tested making it ideal for us to start on the more adventurous dive of the Nigali Passage.
Our first two dives of the cruise would be here playing with all the sharks and trevally. We were lucky enough to see that a few of the sharks had very recently given birth to some juvenile sharks, maybe even in the past two-three days. The first drift through was a mind blowing dive with sharks all over, barracuda schools throughout the passage and a nice big school of trevally siting at the bleachers waiting for us to arrive. We finished up the dive with the cabbage coral patch being the last things for us to see. As a good finisher we had Jim’s Alley down for a night dive. This turned out to be a good move as we found a small orangutan crab which was white! All the soft corals were out blooming making for a spectacular finish of Gau Island.
For the second day we had the Fiji Siren liveaboard moved to Wakaya where we saw turtles, reef sharks and plenty of hard and soft corals. I think this would have to be the best visibility I have ever seen at Wakaya. It was breathtaking being able to see so far down the drop off of walls and slopes going down so deep.
In Makogai the following day we had a few easy dives planned out with great corals and a couple of swim through passages. At Pinball Stu, we stumbles across a juvenile frog fish while waiting to take photos of the leaf scorpion fish that was sitting close-by. Once we had finished up with the diving we moved to Makogai island and had our chance to step off the Fiji Siren for the afternoon at the village. After the tour we moved around to the front of the hall and had a traditional sevusevu and kava ceremony followed up by the school children stepping out front for a Meke or traditional dance with the rest of the village singing. As we slowly departed the village we had the tunes of the Isa Lei being sung which is a Fijian farewell song all through our heads.
Next up we moved in to the Marine Reserve to hit some of the very well-known sites such as School house, North save-a-tack passage(grand central station) and other sites such as chimneys. We started out in the south diving into Black Forest and Ned’s which were covered on soft corals and had plenty of tropical fish for all as well as a blue ribbon eel.
As the afternoon progressed we moved the Fiji Siren to School House which had us looking at schools of trevally in the hundreds, barracuda the same, bannerfish in the multitudes and then thousands of anthias darting around the top of all the coral heads. For the night dive we went to the Namena Beach wreck which is situated close to the island on a sandy bottom. We managed to find the ever illusive white mantis shrimp hiding in the white sand. There was plenty of banded pipe fish scooting across the wreck and the most gigantic porcupine fish ever skulking under the wreck itself. The last day we had in Namena had us dive into South Save-A-Tack wall and chimneys. The wall we had some amazing swim through passages and at chimneys we had a little more current than expected as we had a full moon.
We did however manage to find a pygmy pipehorse on the sand to show everyone. We finished the day out with a dive at the infamous Grand Central Station through to Kansas. Here we found plenty of trevally, barracuda, sweep and reef sharks. Moving up through the arch we had multiple golden mantis shrimp with soft corals blooming all over only to finish the dive at Kansas with its wheat like leather coral covering the top of the pinnacle and see through surrounded by soft coral. For a finale we had Nemo’s Playground as a night dive where luck would have it we found a quite large frog fish resting on top of the pinnacle.
This was an absolutely fantastic group of people! Vinaka Vakelevu! I hope we see all of you again very soon!!!