Fun dives on board the Fiji Siren
Fun dives on board the Fiji Siren.
The Fiji Siren and her crew were happy once more to welcome on board this week a group of 15-Swiss, and a token Italian, for our first ever 11-night cruise. Once everyone had started to settle in we sailed a short distance to anchor up safely for the night just off Nananu-I-Ra in readiness for an early start the following morning at Vatu I Ra in the Bligh Waters.
To kick start our diving adventure we dropped in at Mellow Yellow, Maytag and Coral Corner where the aquatic environment was, as usual, a hive of activity. Some of our special guests today included big fat grey reef sharks and dog tooth tuna, schooling barracuda and of course all the beautifully coloured soft coral that makes this region arguably the soft coral capital of the world. Once our diving day was complete, we set course for Makogai Island, with a beautiful bright red Fijian sunset for company, where we would spend tomorrow diving and share an island visit and a little traditional Fijian culture.
Today’s dives were at Dominoes, Pin Ball and Half Pipe which were all within a 3-minutes skiff ride from where Captain Sai anchored for the day. It was then off to Makogai Island for an exciting village tour and to meet the locals in their own environment. Once back on-board chefs Andrew and Josefa had prepared some special Fijian food for dinner and afterwards the Fiji Siren House Band entertained us with some local songs and of course no Fijian night is ever complete without a few shells of ‘tasty’ kava! Wakaya Island was our next stop and as we arrived to a beautiful sunrise over calm flat waters everyone was eager to get into the action at Vatu Vai, Lion’s Den, Blue Ridge and Wakaya Wall with the manta rays, hammerhead sharks and turtles as well as plenty of macro critters including scorpion leaf fish, several types of shrimps, pipefish, gobies, nudibranch and garden eels.
The next morning we woke up at Gau Island safely moored inside the barrier reef right at Nigali Passage where we would be dropping in for our first two dives of the day with the resident grey reef sharks, grouper, turtles, schooling jacks and barracuda and some stealthy moray eels. Later that afternoon we moved north to enjoy two lovely dives at Jim’s Alley and Anthias Avenue before setting course to Taveuni and the famous Rainbow Reef region.
As the sun rose over Taveuni for the first of three exciting days of diving we were greeted by calm flat seas and a large pod of friendly spinner dolphins in Somosomo Strait for our guests first encounter to the Rainbow Reef at Annie’s Bommies. Next stop was the iconic Great White Wall, a ‘must do’ dive for any diver considering visiting Fiji. After another great lunch it was off to Nuku’s Reef and Fish Factory before our night dive at Mini Cabbage Patch.
Day two at Taveuni and it was straight back into the action with a full day of diving at Jerry’s Jelly, Blue Ribbon and Sam’s Point and whilst our guests were out enjoying their diving, Fiji Siren was visited by some playful manta rays so Simon and Chief Officer Richie took the opportunity to slip-in and spend 30-minutes snorkeling with these graceful creatures.
For our afternoon dive we changed groups from yesterday and returned to Nuku’s Reef and Fish Factory whilst Tukana, Matai and Simon took half of our guests on a land based tour to see the International Date Line, play in a natural rock water-slide and collect some fresh coconuts, mangos, bananas and limes straight from the trees before bringing their booty back for everyone to enjoy. We finished our diving day with a night dive at Red Rock Point and during dinner the Fiji Siren House Band once again got into full swing and entertained us into the night.
For our third and final day in Taveuni and it was off to Coral Garden and The Ledge before heading back by popular demand to the Great White Wall for Marc’s 50th dive. We then set course towards the Namena Marine Reserve where we planned to spend the next 2-days.
The Namena Marine Reserve is arguably the pinnacle of Fiji diving, and what a perfect place for Leticia to log her 50th dive, and over our 2-days and nights we explored Fantasy, Keenan East, Grand Central Station, The Arch, Yellow Brick Road, Oz, Kansas, Chimneys, Black Forest, Ned’s Nuts and Namena Beach wreck and once again it ‘turned it on’ for us with another diverse range of creatures from over 2-dozen hammerheads to some bright pink leaf fish – wow no wonder we are tired!
Our final day of diving had eventually arrived so we ventured back to Vatu I Ra and treated everyone to the very famous E6 and Mount Mutiny – 2-historic sites to end an historic 11-night cruise.
All good things have an end… Thank you guys for this great week on board the Fiji Siren! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!