Log Date: Saturday, Sep 12, 2015
Entry By: Captain Ned Hill
Island Dancer II Captains Log
Sept 12th to 19th 2015.
Captain-Ned, Engineer-Vince, Mate-Joji, Chef-Peni, Steward-Talei, Decky-Charlie
Guests- Oswaldo, Tereza, Joao, Claudia, Thiago, Raquel, Fabricio, Julio, Rosana, Christian.
Visibility-100ft Water Tempreture-23-25 degrees C/73-75 F
This week we welcomed our friends from Atlantes Guarapari Dive & Travel, a well-known Brazilian dive operation led by Julio Yaber.
Our week started with a check out dive on manta rock off the island of Wakaya. A pleasant appearance of 2 hump back whales 30 meters from the stern of the island dancer was a good treat and a promising start to our week. The 2nd and 3rd dives were on manta wall and wakaya passage, winged pipe fish, a variety of nudibrancs, schooling barracuda and a hammer head shark was the highlight of the morning of day 1. We cruised to Makogai Island finishing off the day with afternoon and night dives at ricks rock, dive-master Joji spotting 2 pigmy sea horses on a sea fan to the delight of our divers.
We cruised further north to the namena island marine reserve for days 2 & 3 diving sites known for its diverse creatures large and little and most colorful coral (soft coral capital of the world). Grand central station was the first dive site of day 2, divers descended onto schooling horse eyed jacks, chevron barracuda and grey reef sharks feeding on the incoming tide. South save-a-tack passage was next followed by chimneys then Kansas. Our Brazilian divers were astounded with the healthy marine life Fiji has to offer, as group leader Julio Yaber put it, for 25 years he has travelled the world diving and has never experienced or seen such beautiful bright colors and reef that is so alive. The cathedral at south save-a-tack was hit with the divers getting their pictures taken by the stone alter with the sun light streaming through the reef crack opening above.
We cruised south on the morning of day 4 back to the island on Makogai diving the calm waters of the lagoon. The photographers had to put on their macro lens as they followed dive master Joji who has the eye for the smallest of critters pointing out, pigmy seahorses hanging off sea fans, flabolinas, chromodoris, leaf scorpion fish and much much more. After the 3rd dive we headed to makogai island village for an afternoon tour of the tridacner clam farm, turtle nursery, Fijian traditional kava drinking ceremony and cultural song and dancers, which was the highlight of the trip for our Brazilian friends.
Gau Island was our next stop for day 5 & 6, we started off with a dive at Anthias where we got to play with a manta before diving with three spotted eagle rays at the Nigali inner wall. Shark feeding at Nigali shark alley was done after lunch which got all the divers pumped up with excitement as 20 grey reef sharks tore at the tuna heads that was tied to a rock 5 feet in front of the divers. We finished off another awesome day of diving with a drift through Nigali passage before heading in to shelter for the night. Our final dive of the trip was on the Nigali wall before we cruised back to the port of Suva in calm seas.
Till next trip, dive safe.
Captain Ned Hill.