Dive, Eat, Dance and Laugh!
Once again we find ourselves greeting a new set of diver aboard the S/Y Fiji Siren, this time all were from Santa Barbara in the United States of America. This was to be one of the greatest cruises we have been on as all the guests were friends who had travelled together in one way shape or form. Some from diving and others in snow skiing. The crew realized not long after greeting these exceptional people that we were in for a big week of antics.
Day one of diving had us enter into the beautiful site of Mellow Yellow for our shake down dive and then also to Black Magic where we managed to get a few sharks out and about. We had a couple of small schools of fish loitering in the blue not willing to come too close but it was nice to see the shimmer of silver out there. For the afternoon we dropped into Coral Corner before making our way down to Gau island.
We woke to the peaceful waters of Gau Island. After the dives and kayaking, we moved the Fiji Siren as far south as she would be going to the Nigali Passage and the afternoon dives. We dived all four dives during the day today as the tides on the passage were ideal for later afternoon. On the first dive, we had just 10 sharks. This was just an appetizer before the second dive where we had all the action! Our resident grouper, “Bill”, red bass and countless number of sharks! After a day’s diving like this it was only natural to sit down and take a nap, or so you would think. This group however had found their stride and started off with a couple of small drinks and finally moving into some loud music with a bit of dancing and singing. It was only right to bring out the band and show off the talents of the crew. A big thanks to Ruby for doing a complete change-over of string on our guitar.
Next up we had Wakaya, the area where all of our manta friends have been getting super excited to see us. The first dive started out slow with only one manta ray and one hammerhead wiz by but by dive three the mantas had come back in force with 5 of them swooping around feeding in the blue water. For the night dive, we had a plethora of small life out for us to see from orangutan crabs and decorator crabs to tiny cowrie shells on soft coral with squat lobster and clingfish on crinoids. The day could not have finished better than it did.
The motor up to Namena after dinner was an event but thankfully when we arrived in Namena the seas were beautiful and flat for us. We were to spend two days diving the area to sites such as Chimneys in the south with the beautiful soft and hard corals to Grand Central and School House in the North. We had hammerheads out at Schoolhouse making for an amazing dive and plenty of other things like schooling bannerfish and barracuda. For the evening we decided we should have a bit of a party on the sundeck with some traditional Kava and some singing and dancing. Towards the halfway mark of the night we had a surprise of Ruby coming out in a full Fijian costume consisting of bikini top and grass skirt to perform an eloquent dance number.
From Namena it was out to Vatu-I-Ra and then the final nights partying. There is not much more to say other than thank you to Dr. Bob and the crew of people he brought across to us. It truly was a pleasure to have you on board. I will forever remember the lady’s forcing upon me t-shirt 5 sizes to small and graffiti-ing the whole thing purely for a good laugh. A magnificent cruise!!! Vinaka Vakelevu.