Trip Start Jan 29, 2008
13Trip End Apr 30, 2008
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Where I stayed
We got up the next day and headed straight for the beach. The resort was small enough and quiet and we spent our Sunday chilling out. We quickly realised there wasn't an awful lot to do there but the local staff had concocted a few events to keep us from boredom each day. Just as you'd fall asleep on your lounger a Fijian guy would walk up to the hollowed tree trunk, there especially for the purpose, knock out a jaws like drum beat, getting faster towards the end and then shout at the top of his lungs - "jewlerry making" "watermelon smashing", "climbing for coconuts" or "kava ceremony"
Our first of two dives on the Monday was at 9 and I was up and out and kitted up along with a couple, Vincent and Judith from the Netherlands. The dive guide, Kari brought us out to the outer reef, ten minutes in the boat and then we got our tanks and masks on and did a backwards somersault into the water over the side of the boat. I was nervous after my previous experiences with diving, but it didn't take long for me to feel comfortable, and my mask didn't fill up too much this time! I even managed to clear it underwater without giving any sign of my previous problems! I even went deeper than I'd been before - 23 metres and didn't notice any claustaphobia or any problems. The others saw a shark but I managed to miss it! The next dive was taken by Tukes, a local guy, who reminded me a lot of Liz. He really took his time looking around and looking in crevasses etc, so much so that I'd find myself ahead of him some of the time and bumping into him others. Judith and Vincent were obviously experienced and although keeping within eyesight wandered round with their camera and had a good look at everything, which encouraged me to do the same
I had planned on taking it easy the next day but Tukes nabbed me as I was coming back from a swim and persuaded me to go snorkelling. An Australian couple came with us and we spent about 40 minutes on the inner reef. I stayed at the surface but Tukes kept going down and picking things up for us to look at. I touched a sea slug which was kind of gross and he got us a blue starfish to have a look at. He also brought us to see some nemo and I accidentally disturbed a parrot fish. She must have had a nest or something because she was circling around scaring off the other fish and when she saw me approaching she decided to have a go at me too. It was fascinating.
The previous day I'd told Judith and Vincent about a shark dive run from the next resort over and said I was thinking of doing it. They immediately jumped at the idea and booked and kept asking me if I'd booked - I'd only been thinking about it, it was quite a scary idea!!! I did book anyway and on Wednesday we went. The guys were feeling a bit dodgy that morning though and when we got there they were told they should reschedule - help!!! I bravely continued, shaking all the way, a half hour ride on the boat. A lovely Australian gentleman befriended me and said he'd be my buddy
Our second dive was to 18 metres and featured more bull sharks. Again I was nervous but this time my buddy just grabbed my fins from below and dragged me to the bottom! There's been a tiger shark around but she didn't turn up that day. It was absolutely fascinating. This time there was silver tips as well and after the feed we took a trip in under the wreck - it wasn't too narrow a hole and I was following a guide so felt ok. When going up for our safety stop everywhere we looked seemed to be sharks circling below us. It was so fascinating. I came back to the resort with a huge smile on my face and the experience of a lifetime under my belt.
I planned on taking my last day on the beach, but was persuaded into the water once more. Thursday morning we set off (Judith and Vincent joined us again, having had their planned dive at Beqa lagoon cancelled) and I buddied up with Chantale who'd qualified OWD the day before. I was still on a high from the shark dive and poor Chantale had difficulties equalizing, but I made use of the time by posing underwater with Judith while Vincent took the shots with his camera