Monday, December 12

Good fishing, diving and Mantas!

Activities have been running above and below the water showing the guests all the best Fiji has on offer.. Fishing trips were super successful, once the birds were found the rods started to provide some action. Two of our guests came back with 2 Mahi Mahi and a tuna which made great sashimi. 

Jessica finally got put into the water after much preparation, on her first cruise CJ and Jay witnessed a manta breach just off Paradise’s house reef. The first one seen this season so watch this space.

 Snorkelers were greeted by a hawksbill turtle, napolean wrasse and white tip reef shark whilst swimming in the shallows of the white wall. Snorkelling Nuku reef was like being in our own personal aquarium, we dropped down on a white tip reef shark which hung with us for an hour and in for a closer look. Just before getting on the boat we had an eagle ray swim in the blue what a sight. Pinnacle dive site on vuna reef has been  revisited by one of guests almost every day this week as it has been satisfying both his desires for macro and micro photography - schools of batfish, barracuda, sharks, rays and a quick stop for a manicure by the cleaner shrimps. 

We got some downtime and headed off for some island exploring. It was our first venture past the airport and we were blown away by the picturesque white sandy beaches with palm trees as far as the eye can see and surrounding islands that one can encounter on your way to Bouma village. The ten minute walk to the first waterfall literally feels like you’ve landed yourself in a Jurrasic park set you almost waiting for a teradectile to appear at any moment. We climbed a few rocks and took a run up to jump into the coldest waters you will probably find on the island but is welcomed after the walk in the sun and humidity. There is definitely something majestic about the falls and you can just sit and watch the water crashing down for hours. 

Thursday, December 1

The Sun Is Back!

After a few weeks of rain, rain and more rain the sun finally decided to start showing its face again. For us divers, this makes a magnificent change in the diving and its great! Finally the corral’s colors are on display again and it is stunning.

The beginning of the week was very quiet but finally the dive center is buzzing with new faces very excited about the diving. One of the guests in particular has reminded me what it is like being a new diver again. I’m not talking about being low on air really early on dive no. I’m talking about the excitement of discovering a new world! In all my years of diving I have never seen an open water diver get such a high from just one dive. Literally shaking from the excitement just after his first check out dive on our house reef. He never even stopped smiling till the following dive on the next day till the nerves started kicking in to do his fist adventure deep dive. After a good briefing and some reassuring that the deep dive will even be better, we hopped into the water for his fist peek at the world below 20meters. Even though his dive was a bit shorter than the rest, he loved it! Now his excitement levels matches those of a 10year old the day before Christmas.
This is why I became a diving instructor, to share my passion for our underwater world with others and teach them how to protect it.

Even though sunlight has been limited, one dive that stood out from the rest was a dive on Vuna Reef at a site called Orgasm. With a small group we went down, arriving on the reef there was a small Hawksbill Turtle to welcome us, not fazed about us at all he just lifted his head, had a look and went back to sleep, a perfect photo opportunity. Continuing down the reef onto the drop off we saw a massive school of Batfish making their way below us coming up for a quick look, then making way again into the deep. The reef it self was zooming with life! Loads of Anthias, Goldies, and Damzels all hovering over their own plot of coral. Just keeping their distance in front of us was something I have never seen before, schooling Red Snappers. I personally think it was something to do with mating season but it was great to see. As they moved into the shallows a massive school of Blue and Yellow Fusiliers took their space coming straight for us. They school swallowed us and just like the turtle they very not fazed. Swooping around and in between the divers flashing their bright colors whilst feeding on the plankton drifting in the current. With no warning they all dashed down low onto the reef for at first no reason, but very soon it was made clear by the school of Barracudas that made their way over to us. Very curious of the divers they started circling us creating a whirlpool of Barracudas with divers stuck at the bottom. Moments like this make me want to cry! Not because of the beauty. Because I cant bring my camera down on dives that I’m leading and this would have been a photo to be framed and put onto the wall of favorites!  Once the Barracudas moved off to the side the Fusiliers came up, the Snappers came back from the shallows AND the school of Batfish came back up from the deep for a second peak at the divers. Barracudas behind me, Fusiliers all around me, Batfish underneath me and the Snappers in front of me. 

Now I understand why they call this site Orgasm.

Long exposure photo of divers come back from their night dive

Kimi doing her briefing for the shore entry dive.