The Stephen Frink underwater photography workshop on the Fiji Siren.

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The Stephen Frink underwater photography workshop on the Fiji Siren.

The Fiji Siren welcomed on board the world renowned photographer Stephen Frink on-board with his elite photo guru guests, not to mention a lot of very big cameras with tentacle like strobes protruding every which way. With lots of chatting and laughing even before we boarded it was a good sign and this was going to be a fun filled adventure. After a leisurely crew introduction and boat familiarization along with some very valuable safety drills completed to keep our energetic team fine-tuned, as well as to ensure our guests that their safety is paramount in our minds it was time for a relaxed little shakedown dive at Amazing Maze. This is a great site close to Volivoli in the Bligh Water to help get everyone comfortable and the perfect opportunity to hone in their weights and buoyancy with plenty of brand new wetsuits and equipment on-board.


Early the following morning it was off to the remarkable soft coral of Vatu I Ra with dives at Black Magic Mountain and Mellow Yellow in the morning and then after lunch a thrilling little drift at Coral Corner to provide our avid photographers with ample opportunity to capture some truly wonderful images.
For the start of our second full day we woke to clear skies and humpback whales frolicking alongside Makogai Island where Fiji Siren was peacefully anchored in readiness for our dives at Half Pipe, Dominoes and Ratu Ridge. Pleasingly our guests found plenty of eager critters more than happy to pose for a photo or two including juvenile blue ribbon eel, scorpion leaf fish, turtles, eagle rays, giant grouper and countless anemones and anemone fish before we went ashore on a short land-based village tour.

Mellow Yello Keith Olaisen re

We started our next day at Wakaya Island where Lion’s Den and Vatu Vai gave us mantas rays and 2 hammerhead sharks! After lunch we moved over to Wakaya Wall for a leisurely drift dive on the incoming tide where we saw another wide variety of hard and soft corals teeming with an even wider range of marine life all the time being serenaded by the sound of passing humpback whales.

hammer head 700

As dawn broke over the Somosomo Straight and we got our very first glimpse of daylight in Taveuni. Dive # 1 in Taveuni started off at Fingers before heading over to Annie’s Bommie’s for an exciting drift dive and then after lunch it was off to, Jerry’s Jelly, Blue Ribbon and Sam’s Point whilst some of the group chose to go ashore for our land-based excursion to see the International Dateline. Later that evening, after a typical bright red South Pacific sunset, our diving day was rounded off with a special night dive at Mini Cabbage Patch for a hardy few.

barracuda 700

Our final day on the Rainbow Reef and to start things in motion we spent the morning with action central at Barracuda Point followed by another pretty drift at Purple Wall then after lunch we visited one of Fiji’s most famous sites, the Great White Wall which got the ‘thumbs-up’ tick of approval from everyone, and finally MFT Reef as our final night dive in Taveuni for some more blue ribbon eels, sharks and turtle before heading off to Fiji’s largest marine park, Namena Marine Reserve.

IMG 3748

To start our diving adventure in Fiji’s premier marine reserve it was a gentle ‘Fiji-time’ drift on South Save-A-Tack Wall on the rising tide before we explored Ned’s Nuts and Black Forest where we spent some time with a range of wonderful critters such as leaf fish, banded sea snakes, blue ribbon eels, long nose hawks fish and sharks who have made their homes in an amongst some of the most beautiful, colorful and healthy coral pinnacles you are likely to see. As the sun set once again our night diving enthusiasts dropped in on the Namena Wreck to have some night time fun with the crabs, mantis shrimp, octopus, nudibranch, sea pens and pleurobranchids.

many corals 700

Day two in the Namena Marine Reserve and today’s menu of sites started in the north and consisted of Grand Central Station, Arch, Oz, Yellow Brick Road with the Window of Dreams and Kansas and what we didn’t see wasn’t worth seeing. These dives had everything from golden mantis shrimp and tiny pipefish right through to a range of sharks and schooling barracuda mixed amongst some very healthy coral. The 45m/150’ visibility just added to what was already an absolutely amazing dive. Later that morning we moved back to the south for a couple of amazing dives and literally 1,000’s of photographs at Chimneys where our list of attractions included seahorses, dragonets, pipefish, octopus, barracuda, sharks, nudibranch, pleurobranchids and several hundred different hard and soft corals encompassing the entire spectrum of colours. We did our night dive at Nemo’s Playground with as the name suggests has many anemone and anemone fish in every direction you look.

white coral

For our last day in the Namena Marine Reserve it was back to North Save-A-Tack Wall in the morning with ‘action-a-plenty’ at School House under glass flat waters then after lunch we moved to the edge of the reserve and did a very speedy drift at Fantasy with some awesome healthy and colorful coral and many great critters as we whizzed bye at great pace. Later that evening we celebrated Bruce’s 3,500th dive at a new site that we named Bruce’s Bommie.

School House re

For the final dive day, the very famous E6 was chosen for our first dive which appeared to be a great choice with all the big smiles that came up on everyone’s faces. Next and final dive destination was back by popular demand to revisit Mellow Yellow and on the way we were escorted by a pod of friendly Pilot Whales and Dolphins. Both of these sites are truly ‘world-class’ diving at its best and let’s hope that they have helped our guests remember their time onboard Fiji Siren fondly. Next stop Volivoli for one last Fiji sunset and final night dinner and party.

Fiji Siren James Foley re

Like all things amazing unfortunately our cruise has to come to an end as the crew sang Isa lei to our departing friends…….vinaka vaka levu and moce mada.

Photo by: Stephen Frink, James Foley, Keith Olaisen, Dave Jefferiss

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