Thursday, December 13

Manta Ray Visitor

New PADI Divemasters Wilson and Ilisoni had an unexpected visitor during their DM training dives – a Manta Ray!

The rest of the Pro Dive Taveuni team – Allan, Zoe and Manasa – were putting the boys through their paces on the House Reef when the graceful ray cruised past.

Manta rays are sometimes seen on our dive sites but to see one just 20m from our marina and in a depth of only 5m was an amazing moment.

The following day the same ray visited Paradise again, this time swooping past on the surface in front of the resort – much to the delight of all the guests.

Saturday, December 8

Safe 'n' Sound in Paradise

Cyclone Daman has tried to get to Paradise - but NO GO!

The tropical cyclone is now north north east of the Fiji islands and is travelling out to sea. Taveuni has experience little wind and some rain over the last 2 days and therefore no damage to our garden island has occured.

This morning our dive boat took divers out to Vuna Reef to the Fish Factory. All resort activities and adventures are on schedule with the 2 hour cultural walk departing with Wilson and Guests and our guide taking the Mountain Trek Horseride a with other Guests.

So it's business as usual in Paradise and Taveuni!

Thursday, November 29

FREE SHORE DIVES IN PARADISE

Paradise Taveuni has 3 of the best shore dives around with recent divers experiencing some great shore diving on Paradise Reef.


'This reef is remarkably in tact and offers so much for divers of any level. I saw hard & soft coral, lion fish, blue spotted rays, rock fish, banded sea snakes, moray eels, clown fish and reef sharks. This is a dream for all underwater photographers!"
November, George Mullard, USA.

Paradise is offering FREE Unlimited Shore dives with all 10 Dive Packages.

Sunday, November 18

PADI in Paradise


Paradise and Pro Dive Taveuni have just had the pleasure of hosting Ian Cumming, PADI's Regional Manager for Fiji and the other Pacific Islands.

Ian was delighted to congratulate Te and Manasa on their recent achievement of becoming PADI Instructors and gave the boys some great ideas for the future. He spent time with the whole Dive Team and was extremely positive about the PADI courses and standards that Pro Dive Taveuni offers.

Ian also had time to go out diving on Vuna Reef with Allan and goes back to PADI having had a great visit both above and below water.

Ian is pictured here with the Pro Dive Taveuni boys - Te, Manasa, Toutou, Wilson and Isikeli.

Monday, November 12

Fiji’s reefs in spectacular condition!

Fiji’s reefs show high coral health after recovering from a coral bleaching event.

Coral reefs have frequently been in the news over the past few years, usually for all the wrong reasons, in articles about dying corals across the globe. However, Fiji has had reason to celebrate, with recent scientific reports suggesting that the reefs here are remarkably resilient, and currently in the best condition recorded. (this millennium!)

Fiji is a large archipelago with a great variety of reef types, spread across the country. While not denying that reefs have their ups and downs, the Fiji branches of the Global Coral Reef Network (GCRMN) and Reef Check have just published the results of eight years of study, where reefs have been seen to recover from events such as Cyclones, Crown of Thorns Starfish and High-temperature Coral Bleaching, within five years.

Dive operators around the Fiji Islands have supported and carried out scientific reef surveys on their dive sites, which have shown reefs affected by coral bleaching in 2000 were back to normal amounts of coral cover by 2005, and even better than normal by 2007.

Many reefs are currently showing a spectacular array of hard corals, with more than 80% coral cover, and 40% Acropora branching and table corals, the most attractive to fish, marine animals, and divers. This suggests that corals in Fiji can survive quite catastrophic events as long as they do not occur too often, a nice cause for optimism for the South Pacific reefs.

Detailed reef health reports can be found at:

By: Helen R Sykes

Director Marine Ecology Fiji

Fiji Co-coordinator Reef Check

Fiji Co-coordinator GCRMN

Saturday, November 10

Congratulations Wilson!


Congratulations to Wilson Tikotikoca who has just become Paradise's newest Rescue diver!

Wilson is an enthusiastic member of our Marine Activities team and has now successfully completed his PADI Rescue diver course. After 3 days of learning skills and practising scenarios, Wilson passed his final assessments with flying colours - even with Zoe and Manasa being very troublesome patients!

A regular helping hand on our snorkelling and boat trips, and already a certified Boatmaster, Wilson's next ambition is to become a PADI Divemaster. Good luck!

Monday, October 29

YouTube video from Taveuni

Okay it's about time to get some moving pictures up here. YouTube has been with us now for long enough...

Hope you enjoy this wee clip!

Stuart

Monday, October 8

Clownfish rules Paradise Reef!


Our favourite house reef - Paradise Reef - has its own armed guard at the moment.... a very territorial clownfish!

Its anemone is home to a couple of babies right now, so Mum is keeping a close eye on any visitors - including our divers.

Despite the David & Goliath proportions, our clownfish will fend off anyone she choses. Manasa, one of our Prodive Instructors, is losing the encounter so far with a nibble to the hand - much to the amusement of his fellow divers!

Tuesday, October 2

New Advanced Divers in Paradise!

Congratulations to our newest Advanced Open Water divers - Frank Tai and Tannaz Mayalek!
Frank and Tannaz came to Paradise having got their Open Water certifications in Australia and keen to dive the world-famous Great White Wall.

At a depth of 30m, this dive requires an Advanced certification so Frank and Tannaz opted to easily incorporate their Advanced course requirements into their daily dives out at Vuna Reef. A great way to mix learning and pleasure!

After celebrating their success with other guests at Paradise, Frank and Tannaz headed out to Rainbow Reef and enjoyed an awesome dive on the Great White Wall.

Well done guys!

Sunday, September 30

Paradise Divers Reach 500!


Congratulations to Sandra Quick from the USA for completing her 500th dive right here in Paradise.

Sandra and her husband John have dived all over the world and particularly enjoyed Paradise Reef - our house reef.

Sandra and John stayed in Paradise for 10 nights and enjoyed over 40 dives together. Check out their comments on diving with Pro Dive Taveuni in Paradise at http://www.undercurrent.org/ http://www.undercurrent.org/UCnow/DestIRR/23/smrn

They have sworn to return for John's 500th dive. See you soon, guys!

Saturday, September 1

Welcome Back Zoe!

We welcome back our PADI Instructor Zoe Trickett to the Paradise Managment Team!

Zoe was with us last year from June - December and is back for another stint in Paradise. We now have 3 Dive Instructors and 1 Dive Master at Pro Dive Taveuni.

Zoe is glad to be back in the Fiji sunshine after spending the last 8 months in NZ.

Zoe is pictured here with Liti & Kata. Welcome home Zoe!

Wednesday, August 29

24fps Productions to Work Together with Diverwire

24fps Productions to Work Together with Diverwire

24fps Productions Announces Strategic Alliance with Diverwire, the News Outlet of the SCUBA Diving Industry

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (August 14, 2007) - 24fps Productions, Inc. the award-winning New York City based production company, announces today an alliance with Diverwire to promote the DVD instructioal video: Underwater Video Basics.

The alliance will initially connect the content creation arm of 24fps Productions, with the marketing reach of Diverwire.

“With so many products competing in the crowded SCUBA marketplace, this alliance opens up a great opportnity to showcase Underwater Video Basics to a much wider audience. We’re very happy to be working with Scott and his team in this endevour.” said Thomas Strodel, President and CEO of 24fps Productions.

“In today's fast-paced world, divers don't have time to wait for their news. Diverwire keeps the scuba community updated on new product releases, travel opportunities, resort news and other late-breaking news items in a simple, easy to read format,” said Scott D. Jones, Diverwire President. “We are pleased to be working with 24fpsproductions. Together, we have some big plans in mind for the future.”

ABOUT UNDERWATER VIDEO BASICS

Shot in high definition, Underwater Video Basics provides step-by-step instruction on how to create better-looking videos underwater. Hosted by award winning cinematographer Steve Miller, the DVD provides insight on selection and maintenance of camera equipment, lens and video technology, dive skills and safety tips, communicating underwater, camera shots and moves, storytelling techniques, and tips for interacting with sea life.

Underwater Video Basics DVD retails for $29.95, and can be purchased directly from the web site: www.underwatervideobasics.com. Special discounts are offered to retailers and wholesalers.

ABOUT DIVERWIRE

Diverwire is a news service for the scuba diving community. The service is designed to deliver breaking dive-oriented news to divers and scuba enthusiasts around the world in a timely, efficient way. Thousand of divers receive their news from Diverwire every week. For more information, visit: www.diverwire.com

ABOUT 24FPS PRODUCTIONS

24fps Productions, is a New York City-based independent production company that specializes in creating original programming for cable, broadcast, and home video distribution. For more information, visit: www.24fpsproductions.com

# # #

For Media Inquiries, Please Contact:

Ande Cousins

646-638-0659

info@24fpsproductions.com

Wednesday, August 22

Pro Dive Taveuni dives exclusively on Vuna Reef

Pro Dive Taveuni is located on the oceanfront of Paradise Taveuni. Owned and operated by Paradise Taveuni, Pro Dive Taveuni offers exclusive diving on Vuna Reef, the southern reefs of Taveuni.

No crowds or even another dive boat in sight! This pristine reef offers divers over 12 different sites to choose from. Spectacular corals and fish life are only minutes from the private marina in Paradise.

Our Pro Dive Taveuni Shop offers full service and fast access to Vuna Reef on request. Our 23ft Betterboat with 90 HP engine takes 5 divers and 2 crew on demand to Vuna and Rainbow Reefs.

Guests requests are welcomed and we do our best to get you in and under the water whenever you want to be there!

Wednesday, August 15

SEA&SEA ANNOUNCES DEMA 2007 SALES SEMINARS

SEA&SEA ANNOUNCES DEMA 2007 SALES SEMINARS Digital underwater photography a major emphasis at DEMA Show 2007 in Orlando.

SEA&SEA dealers seeking key sales techniques and product knowledge for maximizing underwater photography sales and profits in their store should mark their calendars.

These highly informative sales seminars are hosted by professional photographers Andy Sallmon, www.seait.com, and Kevin McDonnell, www.kevinmcdonnell.com, and are offered at no charge. Pre-registration is required and seminar information may be downloaded at www.seaandsea.com/dema.pdf.

Dealers may also reserve space by providing account number, name of company, attendee name(s), and requested date via e-mail to info@tusa.com or by calling Customer Service at (800) 482-2282.

FROM PIXELS TO PROFITS

Hosted by professional photographer Andy Sallmon

Updated and now in its 2nd year “From Pixels to Profits” was a sell out at DEMA last year. Come back and see what’s new and share in the success.

“From Pixels to Profits” is a step-by-step comprehensive approach toward creating an underwater photo-based retail, training and travel center in your dive store. All the essentials necessary will be discussed. At the end of the presentation Andy will share his latest insights on how to market and teach underwater photography classes, while tying them in to equipment sales and travel opportunities for your customers. Take the first step toward success and be our guest at this fun and dynamic seminar.

Date Time Location

Wednesday 10/31 2:30-3:30pm Convention Center # S220D

Thursday 11/1 2:30-3:30pm Convention Center # S220D

Friday 11/2 10-11:30am Convention Center # S220D

Saturday 11/3 10-11:30am Convention Center # S220D

DIGITAL UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY 101

Hosted by professional photographer Kevin McDonnell

Topics will include: All of the basics shop owners need to know in order to talk and sell digital underwater photography. This is a must-attend seminar for all those who currently sell underwater photography equipment in their stores, and especially for those who are considering opening an underwater photography center. Keep your customers happy by selling them a system that they will be able to use and enjoy. Know your product, know your customer - know what to say and what it means. Tips and cues that you cannot afford to miss - they WILL make the difference toward successful underwater photography sales!

Date Time Location

Wednesday 10/31 4-5:00pm Convention Center # S220D

Thursday 11/1 3:30-4:30pm Convention Center # S220D

Friday 11/2 11:30-1pm Convention Center # S220D

Saturday 11/3 11:30-1pm Convention Center # S220D

Since 1972, SEA&SEA has been the leader in underwater imaging technology. The company offers a complete line of digital imaging products ranging from compact point and shoot cameras to professional housings, strobes, and accessories. Visit www.seaandsea.com for more information. SEA&SEA products are distributed in the United States and territories by Tabata USA, www.tusa.com.

Saturday, July 21

underwater.com.au | Product | Tracking White Sharks

underwater.com.au | Product | Tracking White Sharks

"Tracking White Sharks

By Carly Maple - Abyss Pictures

Great White Shark DVD - Having lived on this planet for 15 million years, the great white shark remains the ruler of a kingdom to which we are such vulnerable visitors. They are the most feared and respected of all ocean species known to mankind, but with less than 70 deaths recorded in the history of great white shark fatal attacks worldwide, are they the ruthless killers we label them as? Or are they simply a misconceived apex predator of the sea?

'Tracking White Sharks' is a thriller of a documentary, set entirely off a group of islands that stand 70 kilometres out to sea from the mainland of Southern Australia. It's the abundance of food in this area that attracts the largest of great white sharks in the world. Over 500 great whites have been tagged in these waters, most of which, by former game fishing world record holder, Rolf Czabayski. Working with Australia's leading great white shark scientist, Rolf's continuous tagging research, as he hosts and entertains cage-diving tourists from around the world aboard his luxury Calypso Star vessel, has enabled us to see exactly where and when white sharks travel."

Read more : underwater.com.au | Product | Tracking White Sharks

Wednesday, July 18

Guest comments on Paradise

Wonderful Staff at Paradise!

" The Humpback whales this morning finished our week off perfectly. Thank you so much to all the wonderful staff at Paradise who feel like friends and family now. Great diving, food and company. Can't ask for more! Until we meet again."

July 2007 - Robyn & Dan, New Caledonia.

Awesome Place!
"I'm happy that I was able to complete my Advanced Course in such an awesome place under the expert guidance of Te and Manasa. Superb diving trips - some of the best diving we've enjoyed anywhere in the world. Vinaka Vakalevu"
July 2007 - Jeff & Tracy, USA (pictured here with PADI Instructor Te)

Thursday, July 12

underwater.com.au

underwater.com.au | Directory | Fiji

"Fijian is a fusion of people and culture. A melting pot of Melanesians and Polynesians of people of the Indian sub-continent, the English and Europeans."

underwater.com.au | Directory | Fiji

Mares Introduces New Split Fin

MARES INTRODUCES RAPTOR BRINGING OUR WORLD CLASS FIN R&D TO SPLIT-FIN™ TECHNOLOGY

MARES has brought more innovations in fin technology to divers than any other company in history. Using an advanced design and combination of materials MARES has now created the highest performance SPLIT-FIN™ in its class. The RAPTOR’S design including the Whale Tail foot pocket for maximum energy transfer, delivers the maximum thrust and efficiency in the SPLIT-FIN™category.

With the introduction of RAPTOR, MARES now has a fin within our line to cover very diver’s needs. Whether it’s the legendary AVANTI QUATTRO, the technically advanced QUATTRO POWER & VOLO POWER or now the RAPTOR with SPLIT-FIN™ TECHNOLOGY, MARES continues to be the leading choice among divers around in the world when choosing Fin’s.

MARES District Sales Managers are now out presenting and taking orders for RAPTOR which will begin shipping to dealers around August 1st. RAPTOR will be availible in four colors, Blue, Red, Yellow and Green. Sizes: Small, Regular and Extra Large

For additional information, contact your Mares District Sales Manager or call 1-800-874-3236

For more information on these products and the complete line of products for 2007/8 please be sure to visit the MARES booth (#1659) at the DEMA Trade Show.

HEAD USA is part of the HEAD NV Group, which is based in the Netherlands and listed on the New York and Vienna Stock exchanges. The HEAD NV Group is a worldwide sporting goods company that manufactures and markets products under the HEAD brand (racquet and winter sports), Penn (world’s #1 tennis ball and racquet ball brand), and Tyrolia (wintersports bindings), in addition to the three diving brands (Mares, Dacor and Sporasub). HEAD NV’s Chairman is Johan Eliasch.

Wednesday, July 11

Moon Handbooks Fiji

This last guidebook by David Stanley (the latest among his many guidebooks published by both Lonely Planet and Moon Handbooks, on regions as varied as Cuba, the South Pacific and Alaska), lives well up to the standard of his previous works.





As such, it will not disappoint the reader. It comes as a brilliant tool for visiting the marvelous islands of Fiji, filled with plenty of background information on the local history, culture and current events, as well as invaluable advice for the traveler, with plenty of information and tips, on anything ranging from accommodation to eating, from night-life entertainment to snorkeling.

All in all, there is nothing more to be added: once more, don't leave for Fiji without taking this extraordinary publication with you.

Saturday, July 7

Pro Dive Taveuni Divers

With Paradise Taveuni being a full house over the last 10 days, the Pro Dive Taveuni crew - Tevita, Manasa and Archie - have been working overtime to ensure our Guests are under water whenever they want to be!
Pro Dive Taveuni divers and snorkelers are pictured here:

Misha Schubert, Bernie Marmulla, Robyn Drysdale and Jamie Crosbie with Fiji's freshest PADI Instructor, Manasa.

Pictured on the Paradise Marina and just back from a Rainbow Reef experience.

The look on their faces says it all!

Humpback Whales in Paradise



Saturday 7th July 2007.

Spotted today from the oceanfront of Paradise were 4 Humpback Whales! Just meters from the lava rock waterfront, a pod of Humpbacks played and swam in the warm waters of the Somosomo Straits. Normally passing by the resort and the Straits from August to November, the whales arrived early to spend the morning splashing in the waters of Paradise Taveuni.


Paradise resort guests were the first to spot the whales sending the staff and other guests into a frenzy of picture taking.

Pictured here is our (not so great) attempt at capturing the beauty of these amazing creatures. So close to shore! Simply breathtaking!

ecosystem :: Corals stressed by warming conditions :: ENN

ecosystem :: Corals stressed by warming conditions :: ENN

"Hurricanes May Aid Stressed Coral

WASHINGTON -- Corals stressed by warming conditions may benefit from the passage of a hurricane -- as long as it doesn't slam right into them. Bleaching of corals has been a growing problem in recent years with the loss of algae or reduction of pigment in the living corals that occurs when they are stressed by warming water.

Now, a team of researchers led by Derek P. Manzello of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that hurricanes mix the warm surface water and colder deep water enough to lower the temperature as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit."

ecosystem :: Corals stressed by warming conditions :: ENN

Thursday, July 5

Tioman Mega Dive - Treasures of Tioman

Tioman Mega Dive - Treasures of Tioman

The Concept

A four day ‘festival’ gathering of scuba divers and enthusiasts from various parts of the world. This annual event will include various diving related activities with elements of fun, knowledge and skills. Participants may include enthusiast, novice as well as professionals.

TMD’s event concept will be more towards making it fun and entertaining to the diving society. This yearly event is expected to be the biggest annual gathering of diving society in the Asia Pacific region.

Objectives

* To promote the interest in scuba diving to the public.
* To encourage fun, enjoyment and an active lifestyle among the diving society.
* To educate the public and the diving society on the need to preserve and protect the marine environment.
* To enrich the dive experience by presenting new opportunities for adventure and exploration above and below water.
* Enhance the knowledge, skills, confidence and technical awareness of divers.
* To provide an opportunity for vendors to introduce, promote and demonstrate their scuba diving related products.
* To promote Tioman Island as one of the major diving destination to the diving society.

Date
Starting from 11th to 15th of July

Venue
Tioman Island of Malaysia

Entry Fee
RM200 (refer to TMD Registration for further explanation)"

Tuesday, June 26

Scuba Diving In Fiji, By: Chris Chew

The islands of Fiji are famous for its spectacular scenery and a world class attraction for sea sports such as big game fishing, snorkeling, sailing and scuba diving. Fiji is a favorite scuba diving location for scuba divers from all over the world and its highlights include a fantastic variety of colorful soft corals, more than 1200 species of fish, 12 species of whales and dolphins.

There are also many scuba diving resorts in Fiji which cater to all kinds of budgets and divers. Alternatively divers can choose live aboard dive boats or if you are a tourist on vacation in Fiji do not know how to scuba dive, you can take up lessons there or simply go snorkeling off the pristine beaches.

The Fijian archipelago is encircled by a huge reef and therefore there are many shallow lagoons to swim, snorkel or frolick in. There are also thousands of scuba dive sites to choose from. Most dive locations are easy to get to with plenty of resorts offering scuba diving scattered around the Fijian islands.

The water temperature is just perfect for scuba diving with at its coldest at only 25C. On warmer days, it is about 30C. Water visibility in Fiji is excellent with superb visibility of up to 40m or 120ft is a norm rather than exception.

Mamanuca dive sites in Fiji is easily be accessible "

See more of Chris's blog at:
http://scuba-diving-destinations.blogspot.com

Monday, June 18

Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

This is one of those rare books that you know within the first dozen pages it's going to be a great read and you're going to be disappointed when it ends. Robert Kurson's tremendous research combined with a great historical narrative style results in learning not only about the lives of the living players such as Chatterton and Kohler, but the dead sailors on the submarine as well.

While this is Kurson's book, you can see the extensive contribution provided by Chatterton, Kohler and others who shared the experience. This book fits beautifully with "The Last Dive", which I reviewed here a few years ago. I did learn things here, which surprised me relative to "The Last Dive". I thought they had been doing mixed-gas diving much longer on U-869 then just before the Rouse's arrival. Chapter 2 is about the dangers of wreck diving and sets the stage of what to expect throughout the remainder of the book.

Kurson makes sure the reader understands this wasn't just a bunch of treasure hunters looking for some "stuff". These guys respected this dive site as sacred resting place for these German sailors and their actions (including their own research) supported that belief. And in the end, I was right...it was a disappointment to see it end.



Thursday, June 14

Technical Diving in Depth by B. R. Wienke

A long-awaited and much-needed title has just been released by BPC. "Technical Diving in Depth" by Bruce R. Wienke is the most complete and comprehensive reference work published to date on technical diving.

It contains a mixture of technical topics, with each one self-contained and developed in relationship to diving. The topics span many disciplines and focus on a number of technical arenas.

Topics Include:
Thermodynamics, pressure and density, mechanics, gas kinetics, free and dissolved phase transfer, energy and matter interactions, nucleation and cavitation, bubbles and surfactants, oxygen dose, gas mixtures, buoyancy, gauges and tanks, compressors and regulators, maladies and drugs, statistics, risk and probability, binomial distributions, waves, transport, currents, geology, oceanography, geophysics, solar energy and radiation. References and Appendix are also included.

Targeted Audience:
Technical diver, commercial diver, diving instructor, underwater researcher, doctors, hyperbaric technicians, physiologist, physicist, chemist, mathematician, engineer or biologist.



Sunday, June 10

Whales, Dolphins & Porpoises (Nature Company Guides)

Once again, reading the list of photo-credits at the back of this book is like reading the index in a "Who's Who in the world of Underwater Photography." This is an exciting book with colour photographs (though occasionally a map or diagram) on every single page and the standard of reproduction is as good as it gets.

As with "Sharks & Rays" (a book in the same series), the content is also as good as it gets and, if you only had room to pack a single book on the subject before setting out to discover some of these excellent creatures, then this book will satisfy all your requirements.





Commencing with their customary "Understanding" Whales Dolphins and Porpoises, the reader is then taken on a journey which provides a complete and wide understanding of these incredible creatures - many species of which remain on the brink of extinction. With sections on hunting, captivity, migration and much more plus a page dedicated to each specific species, this book is as complete as it should be and fully lives up to the promise in the title of being an "Ultimate" guide.

Altogether and excellent book and an essential addition to any scuba diver's library.

Saturday, June 9

Nudibranchs and Sea Snails by Helmut Debelius

A beautiful book containing over 1020 color photos, depicting gastropods from the West Coast of the US to the Red Sea to South Africa.

Half of the book is devoted to gastropods with shells and half of the book concerned with those without shells(nudibranchs) all live and in their natural habitat. There is nothing so brightly colored as a nudibranch and to see one "swim" is pure joy. A must have for divers, aquarists and those who love nature.





Although there is some animals misidentified I find it still a good field guide and should be well received by anyone who appreciates beauty.

Wednesday, June 6

Sharks of the World (Princeton Field Guides)

It's finally here -- THE DEFINITIVE and COMPLETELY (yes, very literally) EXHAUSTIVE shark guide. I've just picked up my copy and it still feels like a dream. As a serious shark enthusiast, this is the book that I have always dreamed about but has never existed, until now. If you're a shark enthusiast, it would be a tragedy not to acquire this book.





Here's why:

(1) There are lavish full color illustrations of every single species of shark known today -- 404 described species and 49 as-yet-undescribed species on 64 plates, each species in oblique view (not the usual profile shot), giving invaluable information on its shape in 3 dimensions. In addition to the most popular species (such as the great white or the blacktip reef shark), the least well known are also included in this book, such as Deania quadrispinosum or Etmopterus pusillus, or new species, such as Isistius labialis or Somniosus antarcticus. There are 3 plates of 18 species of angel sharks (Squatinidae)! All 5 species of Oxynotus are included! Nine species of saw shark (Pristiophoridae)!

(2) All breath-takingly accurate illustrations are by the same artist, ensuring consistent style. Mark Dando is among the most accomplished of shark artists; his attention to detail is truly astounding. As a discriminating and accomplished fellow natural history artist, I know what I'm talking about. Having said that, please understand that the illustrations chosen for the cover, while wonderfully accurate, are not representative of the exquisite skill demonstrated in his illustrations of more colorful species, such as the ornate wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus). Therefore, at the risk of sinking in the mire of cliche, I nevertheless urge you not to judge this book by its cover!

(3) The work is truly exhaustive, not only in the number of species depicted. Where there is sufficient variation within a species, additional color illustrations depict sexual dimorphism, juvenile forms and races. All species are presented to scale with each other and a scale bar is provided for easy size comparisons.

(4) For those with a taste for the traditional practice of depicting sharks in profile line drawings, the illustrator satisfies in the textual portion of the book. Again, every single species is beautifully presented in a fine ink line drawing from the side (or from the top in angel sharks and saw sharks). With every species is included a detailed range map, and for most species the teeth are also illustrated. For many, the ventral view of the head is also presented.

(5) The text reads like a field guide, providing detailed notes on the measurements, distinguishing features, distribution, habitat, behavior, biology and status of each species, written by leading authorities on sharks. It even includes a checklist at the end so that shark watchers can record their sightings in the field.

I am completely confident that no shark enthusiast will be disappointed in this book. Seriously folks, the editorial review provided by the publisher for this book underestimates its worth. It's truly a gem and will probably remain the definitive reference and the ultimate field guide for a long, long time.

Monday, June 4

Two freshest PADI Dive Instructors at pro Dive Taveuni

Pro Dive Taveuni is proud to announce that they now have the two freshest PADI Dive Instructors around. Tevita Masinamoa 42 and Manasa Tikotikoca 25 , pictured below, are Fiji’s newest PADI Instructors.

Not only are they the first Fijian locals to pass the PADI Instructors Exam in over 2 years, but both canndidates hail from Pro Dive Taveuni .

Tevita has been a PADI diver for the last 12 years and Manasa has been diving since he was 18 years old. Both had recently passed their Dive Master courses while working with Pro Dive Taveuni in October 2006. Paradise Taveuni sponsored the boys diving through their Dive Master and Dive Instructors courses and the Resort’s Director, Allan Gortan, advised ‘We are all very proud of the achievements of Te & Manasa. They have both shown initiative and an eagerness to learn. Not only are they the first Fijian residents to pass the PADI Instructors Exam in over 2 years, but they both came up the ladder together and have made the Pro Dive Taveuni name proud.”

Pro Dive Taveuni is located on the oceanfront of Paradise, Fiji’s freshest boutique Resort offering 4 luxury Fijian Bures and a large range of activities including spa services, horse riding, sports fishing, jet skiing, hiking adventures, bird watching and guided tours of Taveuni. Diving is of course, one of the new Resort’s draw cards. Exclusively diving on Vuna Reef, the southern reefs of Taveuni as well as diving the legendary Rainbow Reef and White Wall, Pro Dive Taveuni offers World Class dive sites coupled with PADI safety standards and extensive local knowledge. The only deep water frontage Resort in Fiji, Paradise Taveuni offers a great variety of water sports on any tide.

For more information please contact Allan & Terri Gortan at Paradise Taveuni.

Phone: +679 888 0125

E-mail: info@paradiseinfiji.com

Website: www.paradiseinfiji.com

Wednesday, May 30

Whales & Dolphins (Smithsonian Handbooks)

A beautifully illustrated guide to every species of whale, dolphin and porpoise. Covers their identification, evolution, biology, behaviour, reproduction and social lives. Includes tips on how and where to watch whales, dolphins and porpoises, and information on their conservation.





From the great illustrations and quick-reference title bar that includes taxonomic, habitat and population information, to the range maps and behavioral information, this book was such a steal. I received this book shortly before starting cetacean surveys in the south pacific and it was an incredible source of information. I have used many field guides and, although I never tested its 'water-proofness", it is simultaneously concise yet complete. It not only gives identification keys for individual species, but also keys to identifying individual animals. If you are a teacher, student, biologist or enthusiast, get it, wherever you are in the world.

Friday, May 25

Employee’s of the Year!

Congratulations to our Male & Female Employee’s of the Year for 2006.



Feroz, our trusted driver and Naomi, our beloved Nanny, have earned the acclaim of being the first Employees of the Year for Paradise.

They earned themselves a large Hamper with goodies and supplies for the family, T-shirt, cap, sulu and an all expenses paid weekend for 2 in Paradise.

Congratulations and well deserved!

Monday, May 21

IE in Paradise!

PADI is sending an IE to Paradise to test our 2 local boys Manasa and Tevita.


The boys have been studying for months now to ensure they pass. When they pass, they will be the first local instructors for Fiji in over 2 years.


We’ll let you know the outcome soon.


Good Luck boys!

Tuesday, May 15

Humpback Whales in Paradise!

A pod of Humpback Whales were spotted as close as 50 meters from the Paradise oceanfront.

Sighted in the morning and again in the afternoon, guests were amazed at the proximity of the whales.

Some of the guests had just returned from a Jet Ski expedition when they were greeted back to Paradise by the gentle giants.

Thursday, May 10

Undersea Productions: Marine Life of Fiji & Tonga, video identification guide

Undersea Productions: Marine Life of Fiji & Tonga, video identification guide


Marine Life of Fiji and Tonga: A Video Identification Guide

Created for divers, snorkellers, aquarists and all underwater enthusiasts.

Includes 2 DVD videos that you can play on your TV or computer PLUS a 16-page reference booklet with line drawings, descriptions and helpful information.

This "V.I.D." Guide (Video ID) covers the incredible marine biodiversity of this fantastic corner of the South Pacific. Beautifully filmed and visually engaging, Marine Life of Fiji & Tonga

contains pretty much every species you are likely to see, catch or hear about when getting wet in this part of the world. Three years and more than 3000 dives in the making, this is both an essential tool and exotic entertainment.

Disc One: FISH including sharks, lionfish, gobies, angelfish, ghost pipefish, rays, eels, butterflyfish, dragonets, seahorses, barracudas, parrotfish...

Disc Two: EVERYTHING ELSE including whales, nudibranchs, corals, octopus, crustaceans, sponges, jellyfish, sea stars, sea snakes, cuttlefish...

More information here...

Wednesday, May 9

Establish a Global Ban on Shark Finning

Petition Target: Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General

It's too barbaric to imagine, but it still happens. Fishermen catch a shark, slice off its fins, and then, cast it back into the water to die. This horrific practice is already prohibited in federal waters of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Carribbean, but sharks need more protection from finning and other threats.

Your signature can encourage all countries to prepare and implement plans for shark conservation and management as recommended by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

This petition also implores these nations to ban the cruel, wasteful and destructive practice of shark finning in local and international waters. This practice wastes 95-99% of the animal and makes proper management extremely difficult.


Sharks play a critical role in ocean ecosystems. Their numbers are beginning to dwindle. Please help them today!!


Sign Now to encourage Ban Ki-Moon and the UN General Assembly to take action immediately to protect the shark populations across the globe and stop shark finning

Tags follow 'Nemo' fish to home

Tags follow 'Nemo' fish to home



The remarkable homing instincts of some coral reef fish have been revealed.

A team tagged two species of reef fish larvae to see where the juveniles were going after spending weeks and even months maturing in open sea.

It found most of the orange clownfish - made famous by the Finding Nemo movie - and vagabond butterflyfish returned to the reef where they had first hatched.

Writing in the journal Science, the team said the discovery could have implications for marine protection.

"Marine fish lay very small eggs, and when they do, they are released into the water column," explained co-author Professor Geoff Jones from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.

"They develop into a really tiny little larvae that we think drift around in the water currents, sometimes for months.

"The missing link in our understanding of coral reef fish has always been: where do the larvae go?"

Help from Mum

But until now, finding this out has been extremely tricky - attaching tags to miniscule larvae is not an easy task.

So the international team of researchers tackled the problem by getting the mother to help.

Satellite image of the Kimbe Island  (Science)
The study took place on a small reef in Kimbe Bay
They did this by collecting female coral reef fish from a small 0.3 sq km reef in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, and injecting them with a rare, stable barium isotope.

The females pass this isotope to their developing offspring where it accumulates in their bones, giving the baby fish unique chemical signatures.

A few weeks later, the team returned to the reef and collected young fish to test them to see if they carried the "tag".

"We found that 60% - well over half - were coming back to the small island reserve, which was an unexpected result," Professor Jones told the BBC.

Navigational feat

The scientists are uncertain how the vividly coloured orange clownfish and vagabond butterflyfish perform this feat but hope to find out with further research.

An adult butterflyfish (Science and R. Patzner)
"Perhaps they are somehow remaining in sensory contact with their home island and are able to maintain their position and not end up drifting too far away," said Professor Jones.

"Or maybe they are getting carried away, but they have a homing mechanism to swim back to their home reef."

Although the study was carried out on two species, Professor Jones believes the finding may apply to other coral reef fish too, and if this is the case, it could have consequences for marine conservation.

It shows that small no-take marine reserves are a good way to protect over-fished species, he said, because there should be enough juveniles returning to the area to sustain numbers over time.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/6623981.stm


Published: 2007/05/04 15:14:23 GMT

© BBC MMVII

Saturday, May 5

Resort News - Fiji Travel News

Resort News - Fiji Travel News

"Susies Plantation Resort in Taveuni is now Paradise"

Along with the name change, resort facilities and accommodation has been refurbished, rebuilt and upgraded.

Relaunching their new product, Allan & Terri Gortan have built 4 new Fijian luxury Bures, refurbished the main complex to include the open air, undercover Oceanview Restaurant and Tekiteki Bar and Paradise Gifts.

Paradise Pro Dive is also operating a FULL SERVICE Dive shop overlooking the Resort Marina. A large selection of activities are on offer in Paradise from Spa services to Jet Skiing expeditions, Mountain Trek Horse riding to Kayak Tours… do it all… or nothing at all!

If you’re searching for true Fijian hospitality and long to experience the culture of this mystical land, spend some time in Paradise.

Paradise Taveuni Resort

Tuesday, May 1

Village Festival



Guests and Management were invited to the neighbouring Vuna Village this week.


Allan, named Special Guests the Village elders, and Resort Guests watched as a Meke (Traditional Fijian Dance) was performed and were offered food cooked in a traditional lovo (underground).


The Village was raising funds for the local children.



Monday, April 30

Taveuni Tourism Association


Allan is the new Chairman of the recently formed Taveuni Tourism Association.


The T.T.A. has been formed by the business owners of Taveuni and nearby islands to help promote our unique destination.


The group group member are excited to be able to share the most up to date information with you. Just ask us!

Honeymooners in Paradise.


Newly-weds, Paul and Amanda, joined us for their Honeymoon.

Not the usual Honeymooners though - Amanda did her PADI Open Water certificate while Paul enjoyed diving and Sports Fishing.

Paul & Amanda are pictured with staff Perina & Anare on Fiji Night in the Resort!

Sunday, April 29

Library

Paradise has an extensive library of cultural interest reading.


Guests are welcome to read these books during their stay.


They are also on sale in Paradise Gifts for a souvenir of your stay in Paradise.

Tuesday, April 24

Photographer in Paradise


We have just had our professional photographer on the Resort for a 2 day photo shoot.


The new pictures show the new work completed on the Resort. Bures, pool, Pro Dive Shop, Wedding Bure, Main Complex and of course some of our star attractions – our staff.


Pictured is our gorgeous office girl Tema.

Friday, April 20

Staff Member of the Month

Congratulations to Liti (our gorgeous waitress) who was nominated staff member of the month last month. Liti won due to her great attitude, contagious smile and efficiency in her work. Liti constantly strives to make sure our Guests are looked after.


Well done Liti and keep up the great work! Staff member of the year will be announced next newsletter.

Tuesday, April 17

SKYPE chat with us!

Hey we are limited tech wise but we've discovered that a huge number of our guests communicate with SKYPE!

Although we can't speak, we can IM chat, give us a try!




My status


Skype was founded in 2003 by Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. Skype created a little piece of software that makes communicating with people around the world easy and fun. With Skype you can say hello or share a laugh with anyone, anywhere. And if both of you are on Skype, it’s free.

Skype is available in 28 languages and is used in almost every country around the world. Skype generates revenue through its premium offerings such as making and receiving calls to and from landline and mobile phones, as well as voicemail and call forwarding. Skype, based in Luxembourg, has relationships with a growing network of hardware and software providers and is an eBay company (NASDAQ: EBAY).

Friday, April 13

Refurbishing to be completed ahead of Time!

We are delighted to announce that refurbishments on the Resort will be completed earlier than expected.


All work on the resort will be completed by August 2007, however we are still offering our hugely discounted refurb rates until March 2008.


September to March will be the best months to spend some time in Paradise.

Thursday, April 12

Moon Handbooks : Fiji

In Fiji, Melanesia mixes with Polynesia, ancient India with the Pacific, and tradition with the modern world in a unique blend. Moon Handbooks Fiji explores this 322-island archipelago in the heart of the South Pacific. You get:
  • A thought-provoking introduction to the people of Fiji, famed for their warmth, generosity, and fascinating array of traditional customs
  • Details of Fiji's turbulent history, including coverage of the attempted coup of 2000 and its aftermath
  • Vivid descriptions of the islands' dazzling beaches, rainforests, and reefs, plus tips for enjoying outdoor activities like diving, surfing, sailing, kayaking and hiking
  • Frank reviews of lodgings, from luxury resorts to beachfront bures, with exact prices quoted
  • Valuable leads on flights, airfares, rides, rentals, and ferries to allow you to get around on your own or choose your package wisely
  • 53 maps and 10 charts, plus photos, drawings, glossary, and asides - all in 356 pages

Saturday, April 7

New Divers in Paradise


Dedicated to educating and training our staff, we are putting 10 staff through the PADI Open Water Course.


Nicole our new PADI Instructor has got her hands full with the enthusiastic group!


Training will take a week or so, but we hope to end up with Divers keen to advance themselves and their careers.


Good luck and enjoy the diving!

Wednesday, April 4

Hammerhead Shark seen at Rainbow Reef


A 3 metre Hammerhead Shark was spotted by our Divers yesterday at Rainbow Reef on the Great White Wall site.


Divers Nicole, Bertrand, Nick , Boy & Al all witnessed the graceful shark.

Saturday, March 31

DIVING IS ADVENTURE, a philosophy for divers. By Bob Halstead

My favourite article of ALL TIME about the risks in diving . By Bob Halstead
======================================================

(Dear Reader, "risk" and "danger" are not the same thing though they are often confused by authorities in the name of Safety. Really they just want to restrict your adventure .. now read on ..)

Diving is not amusing nor frivolous. It cannot be conducted casually nor without thought and intelligence. People dive, not for "fun", but for ADVENTURE. Pascal noted three hundred years ago that

"ALL THE TROUBLES OF PEOPLE ARE CAUSED BY ONE SINGLE THING, WHICH IS THEIR INABILITY TO STAY QUIETLY IN A ROOM"

He recognised that to seek adventure is a product of being human, but he also recognised that adventurers should anticipate "trouble". I admit he used the word "men" instead of "people". I changed it, not to be politically correct, but because diving is a physical activity where women are often superior to men.

As we seek adventure the trouble that should concern us is the "risk" that the adventure entails. Risk increases as soon as you close the front door and head off to the dive site, then increases even more as you get into the water and descend. The risk associated with diving changes as various physical factors change, for example risk increases with depth, if there is a current, if the water is cold and murky and so on. But increased risk does NOT necessarily imply "danger" - a lack of "safety".

RISK IS THE POTENTIAL FOR INJURY TO OCCUR.

Read the whole article....

Friday, March 30

Gone Diving!


The White Wall was the destination today for Pro Dive Taveuni and Nick, our Guest from the UK.


Comments from the guys…’best diving I have done for years’, ‘when are we going again?’ & ‘…..!!!!!’ from Nicole who was blown away!

Thursday, March 29

New Diving Package


Dive in Paradise for 7 nights with all accommodation, meals, Nadi transfers, 10 dives and a heap of extras to ensure your stay with us is unforgettable.

Monday, March 26

Diving with Pro Dive Taveuni

Divers staying in other Resorts are hearing about the fantastic diving on Vuna Reef and making their way to Paradise.


Pro Dive Taveuni, located on the Paradise oceanfront, has exclusive access to Vuna Reef. No other dive operator dives these sites, leaving them pristine and untouched.


Orgasm, Stairs and Paradise are some of our favourites!

Thursday, March 22

Rains helping cool Barrier Reef

Recent torrential rain and monsoons in northern Queensland have provided some rare relief for the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

The poor conditions have significantly reduced ocean temperatures, making them the coolest for up to five years.

It has been a blessing for the corals - usually in the summer they are at risk of serious scorching and bleaching.

The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest living organism, stretching over more than 345,000 sq km.

It is also the world's most protected marine area and has been under threat from a combination of global warming, pollution and over-fishing.


Read more at BBC

Saturday, March 17

New Slipway


We have recently completed our new slipway on the southern end of the Paradise oceanfront. This will ensure we all sleep well as our boats and Jet Skiis will be kept safe from the elements.

Our Fijian Staff came in on Sunday to help complete the job – talk about dedication!!!

Vinaka Boys!

Friday, March 16

More training – Dive Instructors


Silence please!

Our 2 Pro Dive Masters – Manasa & Te - are studying to be our newest Dive Instructors.


Having recently reached Dive Master status, there is no stopping these 2. Heads down and no Kava!

Good Luck in your exam!

Wednesday, March 14

Paradise in Fiji

have you been over to our sister blog about the resort and island of Taveuni?

Paradise in Fiji

Friday, March 9

New addition to the Paradise Team

Welcome to Nicole & Bertrand.

A couple from France and mad keen divers!

Nicole is our new Dive Instructor and Bertrand is not only our new Financial Controller but also a Dive Master. This is their first time in Fiji, but they have spent much time in the Maldives. So far they are enjoying the lifestyle and the Diving!

Welcome Guys!

Monday, February 26

River Run-Off Threatens Great Barrier Reef

Environmental News Network

SYDNEY -- Satellite images of Australia's Great Barrier Reef show that sediment from river run-off is threatening the reef at a greater rate than previously realised, Australia's peak scientific body said on Wednesday.

The images, taken this month by NASA and U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites, show sediment creating a hazy cloud over the reef, blocking sunlight and hindering photosynthesis, the process that keeps coral alive.


Read more on ENN...

Tire Reef Off Florida Proves a Disaster

"FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A mile offshore from this city's high-rise condos and spring-break bars lie as many as 2 million old tires, strewn across the ocean floor -- a white-walled, steel-belted monument to good intentions gone awry.

The tires were unloaded there in 1972 to create an artificial reef that could attract a rich variety of marine life, and to free up space in clogged landfills. But decades later, the idea has proved a huge ecological blunder."

Read more on ENN...