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Log Date: Saturday, Mar 21, 2015
Entry By: Captain Joji









 



Fiji, Island Dancer II - Captains log – March 21st – 28th 2015

 

Water temp – 80 / 84

Recommended suit – 3mm

Weather – Easterly wind 10/ 15 knots of wind

Visibility – 60ft

 

CREW

Captain Joji

Chief Engineer – Vince

Dive Master – Mosese

Chef – Peni

Steward – Eddie

 

Guest – DIANE, SONYA, MICHAEL, VERONICA, GEORGE, LAI, STEVE, DEE, MARK AND DEBBIE

 

DIVE SITES

Sunday – Clam Rock, Ricks Rock, Half Pipe, Christine’s

Monday – North passage, Kansas, Chimneys, North wall, N/D – Namena Pt.

Tuesday – Schoolhouse, Chimneys, Black forest, Coral haven, N/D – Namena

Wednesday – Dominoes, Manta rock, Manta wall, Wakaya passage

Thursday – Jim’s alley, Anthias 4, Nigali wall, Nigali passage and Village visit

Friday – Nigali passage, Anthias II

Saturday – Suva port

 

 

Saturday – March 21st

On behalf of the Island Dancer II crew we would like to welcome our guest with a big BULA to Mike, Sonya, Diana, Lai, George, Steve, Debra, Mark, Vero and Dee

They all arrived little after 1100 the crew assisted each guest to their designated cabin. While they settle in, our chef Peni prepared a nice hot lunch while we started our official crew introduction and safety briefing. At 1430hrs we departed jetty for Makogai Island where we commence our check out dive!

 

 

Sunday – March 22nd

Nice and sunny this morning as our guests prepare their dive gear, ready for check out dive at Clam Rock; what an easy dive with no current at 65 feet we saw some very interesting critters as we still on that depth we saw few giant clams but on the east side of the pinnacle there were lots of soft and black corals. Some of our guests enjoyed taking pictures of the long nose hawk fish, flame hawkfish and trumpet fish.

After this dive we headed to Ricks Rock for dive 2; Ricks was at his best this morning. Our group saw lots of reef fish and nudibranchs. Of course the moray eels, sting ray, hawksbill turtle, and Halimeda ghost pipefish attracted much lens attention; but the colors and all the beautiful hard and soft coral were really amazing interspersed with sightings of Red Snapping and Pederson Shrimp inviting the macro lovers to get up-close and personal.

 

                                    

3rd Dive – Half Pipe;

Half Pipe was the best choice for our divers this afternoon and we saw some very interesting critters like Flabalina, Chromodoris, Leaf Scorpion Fish, Pop Corn Shrimp and Banded Sea Snake, the current was just right which make all the soft coral open up! Our guests spend most of their time at 45 feet, observing colorful nudibranchs and reef fish feeding or being pampered by cleaner shrimp…amazing!

4th dive at Half Pipe: after the success of dive 3 our divers were keen for more of the same whilst the current was still favorable; our guests focused their lenses on Leaf Scorpion Fish, group of Banner Fish, lots of Coral Trout, Black Spotted Sweetlips, a Hawksbill Turtle and much more.

 

 

Monday – March 23rd

Another great day of diving today with no current; our guests saw lots of reef fish and on the top there were thousands of very active Anthias that covers the entire reef top. On the sandy bottom Clown Trigger Fish, Black Spotted Sweetlips, Midnight Snapper, Regal Angel Fsh, Long Fin Banner Fish, Red and Black Anemone Fish. One of the main attractions for chimneys is the growth of the Black Coral and Sea Fans, quite amazing amongst the soft coral were unbelievably huge Sea Fans; here they are twice the size of our dinner table! Down at the base our guests saw many colorful Nudibranchs, Decorator Dart Fish, Juvenile Clown Trigger Fish and much more.

Another great dive at North save a tack our divers saw Leaf Scorpion Fish, Giant Moray Eel and lots of reef building critters. Once again the outstanding, incredible Soft Corals have since established themselves on the shattered Hard Coral which make our guest enjoy another spectacular dive.

The Island dancer II heaved anchor and headed to North wall for our 4th great dive of the day, this dive we saw some interesting small critters like Pigmy Sea Horse, Blue Dragon Nudibranchs, Decorator Dart Fish and lots more reef building activity.

 

Tuesday – March 24th

Another great day with sunshine 10/15 knots of wind. School House was our choice this morning and our divers had to come up early because of bad visibility caused by a combination of unusually high water temps and an earlier change in current flow than originally anticipated…………………… we had hesitated a little too long whilst waiting on another group of divers to clear this very popular site. So we have to heave anchor and headed back to Chimneys for our 2nd dive; Our guests have always Rated Chimneys as one of the best sites in the World and there’s no doubt about that when all types of colored soft coral and reef fish is everywhere and some of our guest suggested that they can spend the whole day diving at chimneys as the top is so pretty covered with Anthias and so many other types of reef fish, Unbelievable!!! You name any color and it’s there!

3rd and 4th dive at Black forest;

Another incredible dive on the wall where numerous reef fish spend their days feeding amid the Soft Coral, Emperor Angels, White Stripe Anemone fish, White Tip and Grey Reef sharks amongst Black Spotted Sweetlips, Oriental Sweetlips, Barracudas, Golden Mantis Shrimp with many Unicorn and Surgeon Fish.

 

 

 

 

Wednesday – March 25th

Dominoes is a group of five pinnacles just a few meters from the surface and is endowed with a truly astonishing array of Soft Coral, Sea Fans and Crinoids. Numerous undercuts slice deeply into the rock at various depths, sheltering brilliant Coral Trout, Squirrelfish and Hinge Beak Shrimp. Several small crevices are home to some Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp and in the shallow atop the bommies our guests enjoyed watching all the beautiful Anemone, ArcEye and Flame Hawk Fish, Freckled Blennies and Swirling Basslets are everywhere. What a great dive…

We headed to Manta Rock for our 2nd dive; a little windy 15/20knts with N/E wind and not much current but the diving is great. This time our divers saw much schooling activity with large schools of Banner Fish, Jacks and Barracuda’s. A Banded Sea Snake demonstrated its hunting techniques, leading the way to our guests spotting a Moray Eel, Winged Pipe Fish and Robust Ghost Pipe Fish, amongst Oriental Sweetlips, Grey Reef and White Tip Sharks.

4th dive at Wakaya passage not a bad one as our guest saw Grey Reef, White Tip Sharks, schools of Jacks and Barracudas amidst lots of reef building critters.

 

 

Thursday – March 26th

Our 1st dive this morning at Jims Alley ends up being another great dive with some of our divers enjoying capturing pictures of a Red Carpet Anemone at 15ft lots of reef fish on the top whilst along the wall thousands of Red Basslets, , regal angel fish, spotted porcupine fish, longnose file fish and of course the black surgeon fish were everywhere with no shortage of Flatworms and Nudibranchs for the Macro enthusiasts.

2nd dive at Anthias Avenue; very relaxing dive with no current our guest enjoy all their time to go slow and enjoy looking for critters and watching all the reef fish being manicured by a cleaner shrimp. On the sandy rubble bottom there were lot of Fire Dart Fish, Titan Trigger Fish, a Sea Snake and lots of very active critters.

After this dive we headed to Nigali passage for our shark dive. Whilst

waiting for the current to settle down our divers were all eager to get into the water as they’ve heard stories about our shark dive. Patience is a virtue here as we wait for the passage current to fully turn and provide good visibility coupled with lots of fish life! As we slowly descended we were surrounded by a school of Vampire Fish amidst a welcoming committee of Grey Reef Sharks all eagerly eying Moses with his sack of thawing fish chunks. As we drif towards the feeding point a full escort service is provided by the Grey Reef Sharks backed up by schools of Chevron and Heller’s Barracuda all circling us as we traverse Shark Alley. At the feeding point we make sure that everyone fits in well with their camera ready, Another spectacular dive as sharks moved in so close ………. this is one dive where you will have very close contact with these magnificent predators .…very close!!!!.

We started the main engine and headed to Somosomo for a village visit. Our guests are still talking about the shark dive whilst excitement builds for what awaits them at Somosomo; This village is traditionally the keepers of the shark reef where we have dived for the past 20 years. The village spokesman explains that the Kava ceremony is their way of welcoming us and whilst praying for our safekeeping they thank our guests for visiting their reefs and trusting the village to continue maintaining its health and beauty for many future generations. Our guests are shown the traditional ways of drinking kava and later entertained with traditional Fijian dancing (meke) The meal tonight was Fijian food cooked in the underground oven (Lovo) at Somosomo village…delicious. Roast pork, roast chicken, Palusami with coconut cream milk.

 

 

Friday – March 27th

We did another shark dive this morning at Nigali passage but this time we drop our intrepid divers a little further out so they can take more pictures while drifting towards the feeding point. Our guest saw many sharks, schools of jacks, barracudas and lots of reef fish just cruising in that passage.

Our 2nd dive at Anthias II this morning which also turns out to be another great dive and some of our divers again headed for the Red Carpet Anemone to get better shots in different lighting of this popular spot at 15ft with lots of reef fish on the top, along the wall thousands of red basslets, flatworms, nudibranchs, Regal Angel Fish, Spotted Porcupine Fish, Longnose File Fish and of course the Long Fin Banner Fish.

As we headed back to Suva the crew rinsed all the passengers dive gear and dried them before we arrived in Suva.

1530 – the Island Dance II arrived in port

1830 – Cocktail on the boat before our guest head out to town for their dinner.

Saturday – March 28th

0630hrs – continental breakfast was prepared for our guest prior to disembarking the vessel

                            

The watermen of the island dancer II bids farewell to the guests and hope that they have a safe journey back home to their loved ones and sincerely wish we would meet again someday.

 

Captain Joji Tavura