Sun, corals and fish everywhere! This is what diving Fiji looks like
This Fiji Siren trip was special because one of our dive guides – Tomu – had their second baby the day before our departure! Congratulations Tomu!!!
Our first full day diving was out in Vatu-I-Ra where we had absolutely beautiful weather and a great set of divers to match! This time we had a great mix of divers from the UK, Australia, NZ and the United States. This was to be the making of a great cruise. Our first region for this cruise was to be Vatu-I-Ra. We hit Howard’s Diner for the first dive to check everyone out and get all our weighting sorted and get everything where it should be for the following dives.
The real diving started the next day with a dive out to Mellow Yellow and Black Magic Mountain. There was everything we could have wanted at these first few sites. We had sharks, mackerel, thousands of anthias and even a few giant trevallies hunting to make things a little more interesting!
After we finished diving at Vatu-I-Ra we decide to move down to Makogai Island, the once Leper Colony of the South Pacific, for a little easy time diving with no current and lots of small endemic species to look at. For the afternoon we had organized for the children of the village to come out and play. We had a small tour of the village and look at places such as the theatre where all of the lepers and staff used to congregate. For the finish of the tour we moved into the hall and had our traditional Sevusevu. There was plenty of dancing by both villagers and guests until we were all tired.
The next day was to be held at Wakaya where we aimed to get a few of the manta rays that were seen last week. On the first dive we managed to get a couple of them which satisfied most. For the afternoon, we saw plenty of reef fish, tuna, reef sharks and even a couple of turtles to keep us all entertained. Keeping on track we moved the Fiji Siren down south to Gau Island where it was to be an early morning dive to get the tides right at the Nigali Passage. Because of this we got the full briefing done after dinner with a little refresher in the morning so all knew what was going on. This was a fantastic dive was classified as one of the top three of the cruise. There were reef sharks on entry along with a banded sea snake and schools of barracuda. Not just one school but three of them! For the central part oif the dive there were sharks everywhere some so tiny you felt like they were not even real sharks. To finish the passage we had a school of around 200 odd big-eye trevallies hanging there with the juvenile sharks. Naturally we had to do this again so straight after a small breakfast we jumped straight back in to have a small enticement with the sharks. This went off spectacularly with around 40 reef sharks attending along with all of the red snapper who overrun the place.
The next morning, Taveuni showed us some brilliant weather with a clear sky and flat waters. We first dived Annies Bommies followed by the Great White Wall which was a trip favourite for some divers. It is a spectacular site to see a wall of pure white soft coral as deep as you can see and running for about 150m in length. Add a couple of beautiful coral covered swim through and you have a recipe for perfection. We spent two days in this region with the finally having us walk ashore to see the International Date Line and have an iconic picture with the sign.
Next Namena Marine Reserve! Here we made multiple dives to the south and north areas where the north won everyone over with Grand Central Station. We dived this spot twice with each time pulling out all the stops. We had dogtooth tuna the same size if not bigger than us, hundreds of barracuda and trevally out on the wall, Enough sharks to start rival the Nigali passage and of course who could forget the infamous pigmy that lives on the ground. For each day we had sunshine and barely any wind heating us all up to be as relaxed as possible. Throw in a little Fijian music and you are in a perfect place! As we approached the last day we got to dive the sites of E-6 and Mount Mutiny with this finishing of a couple of deep courses for two divers. Each passed with flying colours, with them being able to make all stops with great buoyancy and even being able to deploy markers at their safety stops among other things.
All in all this was a magnificent cruise with everyone being much more than great. A big congratulations to Joanne for passing her nitrox course and also to Gareth and Morten for completing their deep specialties. Vinaka Vakelevu to all and as always I do hope to see you all out diving with us again very soon!