Magically a hammerhead came right up behind us!
The Fiji Siren liveaboard welcomed on board a new group of divers all ready for their new diving experience in Fiji!
We started our journey at Vatulaca Reef just on the horizon from Volivoli where we dived at Tequila Sunrise which had multitudes of yellow soft coral and a couple of reef sharks, schooling barracuda and of course the corals spread out over the reef. Lastly we dived at Neptune’s Rhapsody, again with soft corals all over the place. After Vatulaca Reef we moved to Vatu-I-Ra and the beautiful sites located around there. The currents were being very favourable this week. All were gentle making the diving very easy. Thankfully the corals enjoyed the gentle flow as well as they were all open in all their magnificence feeding on anything passing by in the current. This made the sites of Mellow Yellow and Instant Replay absolutely amazing with massive coral blooms. Add a few of the larger fish into the mix and you have a great dive.
Following the region of Vatu-I-Ra we moved onto Namena Marine Reserve. We had two days around this new region, which is a decent amount of time to explore some of the sites this place has on offer. The very first dive here was to Chimneys, which was a coral overload to everyone. Here we started looking for some of our smaller creature like multiple variations of shrimp, pipe fish and in the deep big black saddled grouper getting cleaned. After breakfast the Fiji Siren moved over to the North of Namena and dropped us into Grand Central Station where we were lucky enough to have huge schools of trevally and barracuda. Next it was Schoolhouse. Here the Captain decided it was time for him to show people around and came out with us. While looking at an octopus, magically a hammerhead came right up behind both Jack and I. We had a school of bannerfish toward the end of the dive and also many reef sharks and a few lionfish, which are endemic to this region. Needless to say this was not the only hammerhead that was seen this week. Thankfully another one showed its face while diving out at Fiji Gold the following day, this time deciding to make itself known to all divers and not just the crew.
Taveuni was to be our next stop with The Great White Wall and Rainbows being some of the highlights. Something of a rarity was noticed while diving out to Fish Factory. Sitting idly by at 25m was a Decorated Dartfish, these beautiful little guys are seriously shy, but we managed to have him and a buddy out for a minute or two before he was scared away by our presence. Upon embarking back onto the dive tender we had a pod of Dolphins surround us and want us to play around. They decided after a few minutes we were not fast enough for them and disappeared back the small waves surrounding the reef. It was till fun nevertheless. After a jaunt onto the island of Taveuni for a quick look at the date line we moved on south to Wakaya and then Gau for a chance to see where our local shark population hide out. We did two fantastic dives through the Nigali passage with the last one being our ‘enticement’ dive. Here we brought out a small bucket with a couple of fish heads purely to entice the sharks to come a little bit closer from the other side of the passage. This worked well as this time we had around 25 sharks including some very small baby ones swimming around us. As usual Bill the grouper had his fair share of the limelight. He is very pushy to the sharks and shunts them out of his way so he can get his photo take. At one stage he was even sneaking in and around our legs in an attempt to get us to notice him. After all of this it was time sadly for us to move on back towards home and for us to say a sad farewell to our guests this week.
Once again our new diving friends had a wonderful time diving in Fiji. We look forward to seeing you again someday. Vinaka Vakelevu.