Great macro, hammerheads, mantas and even whales!

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Great macro, hammerheads, mantas and even whales!

S/Y Fiji Siren had the pleasure of having multiple nationalities on board this week. We had our Chinese contingent, an American troop, and a few colorful Australian’s for Jon’s last trip here with us.
We spent the first night travelling and getting to know the boat and each other with most heading to bed early to recover from their day’s long travels. We arrived at Gau sometime in the early hours of the morning anchored and ready to dive our first couple of sites for the trip. The group jumped into Anthias Avenue and Jims alley for the checkout dives to get the weighting sorted and anything else that may arise. There was a lot to look at and being very enjoyable dives. This was followed by a quick lunch and then straight onto the SHARKS!!! We dived the Nigali passage twice and each time was stunning schools of Trevally and Barracuda and how could I forget the countless Grey Reef Sharks swimming around.

by-heather-suttonThe following day was just as good with us arriving in Wakaya in time for the diving to kick off. The first dive of the day presented Mantas galore and even a Hammerhead in the distance. Throughout the dives there were turtles swimming around, tuna floating past and Nudibrach crawling over everything. We were lucky enough to have the hammerhead turn up again on the third dive at the very end while we were on safety stops. As Fiji Siren was just moving away from the Wakaya Passage there was an almighty shout from Noi who had spotted whales in the distance, getting everyone into the port side to get a look. The last dive for the day was done at Makogai at the beautiful Vatu Vasua. Three turtles were on this dive plus a couple of small white tips. A good way to finish the day!

M0012663We then headed ashore to have a look around and meet the locals. They showed us all the turtle rookery, the giant clam nursery and then all around the old leper colony that used to exist. At the end of the tour we were all invited inside to partake in a couple of ceremonies then celebrate by seeing a meke and dancing along at the end with them. At dinner that night we had a little surprise awaiting Lee and Grace which they were totally unaware of. The Chef brought out a custom designed cake with the picture of Lees’ favorite band (and wedding theme) ‘The Grateful Dead’. One of the other guests even gave a bottle of sparkling wine and the crew presented T-shirts to each of them. With multiple cheers being called for, it was a great night had all round while we travelled to our next destination.

PICT0345To start off our diving at Namena: from juvenile warty frog fish to pipefish to massive schools of fish and sharks swimming around. There is never a bad dive to be when diving this area!!! On the last night in Namena we thought we might spice things up with a discovery night dive in close to shore. We had been told this place might be worth a look. We had three brave volunteers take up the opportunity, so with all three on board, we took off to the unknown… upon returning we could tell by the big smile on their faces that we had made a good call to try this site! Not only did they get turtles, but big octopus that apparently loved being recorded so much the divers had to keep swimming away from it!
The first dive at E-6 was a very relaxed wake up dive. There were many things to be seen on this dive including a small white tip, a very small winged pipefish and lots of nudibranch. The second dive was a little brighter with the sun being up making shots in the cathedral just that little bit better. Not only did we find the winged pipefish again, but we also found an ornate pipefish floating around the entrance to the cathedral.

All in all a great way to end the trip on! The final afternoon aboard the S/Y Fiji Siren was a bit of a somber affair with everyone packing and getting all their equipment dried out so to cheer everyone up we held a massive farewell BBQ where we gave a toast to Jon as he embarked on a different voyage. Everyone here wishes him all the best in his future endeavors and we all hope to at some point see him again on his travels. It has been a very good year having you aboard Jon!!! Vinaka Vaka Levu!!!!!

Photos By:-  Grace Crawford & heather sutton

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