The real reason for coming to Fiji

Trip Start Dec 03, 2005
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Flag of Fiji  ,
Wednesday, January 4, 2006

The Yasawa island group. The pictures are just what I have of the dive photos I took. As noted elsewhere, I had had my digital camera stolen in Tahiti, and unable to replace it with the same model - necessary for me to be able to use it on a dive. I used the dive centre's 35mm film underwater camera for these shots.

The islands are very undeveloped - great for a very peaceful and lazy time, and not many beaches use (or I suspect) have permission, for jetskis and other fast speedboats. I have spent three nights in the north of the group, and will spend 3 more on the nearby isles, so as to stay within a water-taxi pickup of the dive-centre island, allowing me to complete the course and to have some dives for pleasure. One of the nearby islands has the reasonably famous Blue Lagoon, as in the film of that name with Brooke Shields. There is an exclusive, (9 star or some such thing) part of the beach but there is good snorkelling without impeding on their reserved area (well who can really be sure if I am swimming 60 metres out from the shore is how I reasoned it!)
I will be making my way south in the island group known as the Yasawas, to see a couple more beaches, and to dive at one more location.
Also in the vicinity in Fiji are the Castaway island (Tom Hanks film I believe), and the one where they filmed one of the "celebrity get me out of here" series.

I completed my advanced PADI dive course which included a deep dive at 30 metres. At this depth the instructor carries out some simple tests, kind of the equivalent of police getting suspected drunkards to walk along a line or touch their nose looking straight ahead (we tied knots and timed the operation). This is all to observe the effects of nitrogen which enters the bloodstream on a dive, and can make people behave similarly to being drunk. So when the instructor pointed to an object on the seabed (and I was in the right position to get a good close look), writing on his slate that it was a very rare fish, I had to think that he was the one not quite coping with the nitrogen. You see he was pointing at what I would describe as a pair of tree leaves wafting about amidst the sand.
However, not wanting to remark, we looked it up in the marine life book, and sure enough, even in the high resolution photograph in the book, it was really a fish but still looked like two leaves on a twig!
Pleased to say that it wasn't part of the tests, and now my new PADI diver's card is wending its way by mail to Brighton (since it has to be issued from the US).
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