No matter where we looked there was another school of barracudas
Ni Sa Bula and welcome to another week of fabulous diving aboard the S/Y Fiji Siren. This week we had a very mixed group of divers from all over the world, some close and some far. We had a couple from the extended Siren Fleet family (Chris & Helen) joining us on their 4th Siren cruise and a few others doing their second journeys and even a couple joining for their first ever Siren trip. We had English, French, German, Dutch, Polish, Danish and American.
For our first dive this week we had the Fiji Siren move out to the Vatu-I-Ra Passage to get onto the sites of Mellow Yellow and Black Magic Mountain. The currents this week were at a nice steady flow with enough to open the corals and bring in some fish life. We had plenty of leaf fish at these sites, a couple of sharks, schools of barracuda and of course the multitudes of soft coral lettering the walls and pinnacles of all the sites. The afternoon dive was at Instant Replay where we spent the time underwater drifting beside the golden wall at the tip of the reef which had barracuda in small numbers floating by, plenty of grey and black tip sharks and even some small anemone fish greeting us as we moved past. After this dive we pulled anchor and set sail for Gau Island to go and find some sharks too play with.
Our first site of the day was the Nigali Passage. There is always plenty of sharks in this channel being the home to a grey reef shark nursery. We would be doing like always two dives through here with the second one being the enticement dive. As I dropped into the water and descended I did a quick look around of the channel and managed to count 45 grey sharks, some within touching distance. As the remaining divers came to join, we moved down the passage to take our spots on the bleachers (viewing arena) and let the show begin. The currents had gotten a touch stronger so the visibility was a little better, but that also meant more sharks in the channel and more small fish too. We also dived on the outer wall and then Anthias Avenue for our night dive which has tons of soft coral of every colour and many small crustaceans crawling over its rocky terrain.
Next stop, the private island of Wakaya. Here we had four dives planned where we had listed on the cards to see, pygmy sea horses, hammerhead sharks and manta rays just to name a few. We dived into our sites and started hunting around. Over the day, we did manage to get to see every one of those items with two pygmy seahorses sitting on the sand at 23m. We even had the hammerhead shark turn up at the end of the dive so upon seeing it the guide had all divers jump back into the water for the view.
Next, we had Namena for two days where we were very fortunate as we had some amazing marine life come out. At Fiji Gold we were bombarded with barracuda. No matter where we looked there was another school of them swooping in to see us. At one stage it felt like we had a personal guard of them as we were that surrounded we could not see the sharks through them or the bannerfish, or the trevally. There was not much said about this dive that wasn’t spectacular. For one of these nights we dropped into Nemo’s Playground where we had our resident green sea turtle who woke up to see us all there.
By this end of this week, we did not want this to end as everyone truly had become part of the Fiji Siren family. There was chatter around the boat of a mutiny where the crew would be overpowered and the boat taken back to sea. The last night, we had music and cocktails and it was truly magnificent. A night to remember! The weather was out for us as we all climbed up to the sundeck for our family photos and then it was time for the Isa Lei to be sung by the crew and then it was time to bid farewell to all of our newly acquired family. Vinaka Vakelevu Moce Mada!!!