Oct 10

Diving in Fiji

Tag: diving,humorous,route,victoriesJonathon Haradon @ 11:36 pm

(This post refers to events that happened September 21st and 25th)

I had designs to dive on beautiful reefs and coral bommies in Fiji while our guests were here.  Fiji is proclaimed as the soft coral capitol of the world.  I don’t even know the difference between hard coral, soft coral and mean coral but ‘capitol of the world….’ That must be good right? Alas, a broken wrist prevented Allison from being able to dive.  And while we did some great snorkeling, I never motivated to pull out the dive gear to dive while others snorkeled.  I am motivation-less when it comes to diving.  It’s also hard to bring along the dive gear in the dinghy when five other people are in there as well.  Dive gear being bulky and all.

So while I never dove while others were snorkeling above me, or dove down to see beautiful coral, I did do two dives, both alone and to mundane non-beautiful things.

The first dive was just off Octopus Resort on Waya, the day Gary and Anna arrived.  I am willing to bet large sums no one had ever dove my dive site, and so I feel empowered to give it a name. The dive plan was to head straight down to the bottom, a depth of forty-five feet.   Swim with the current along the bottom for sixty feet.  Then shift in one direction perpendicular where you just swam by about 8 feet.  Then swimming parallel to your original track, swim back to where you started.   Due to large amounts of silt, visibility was a mere fifteen feet.  During the quarter of an hour dive I saw no fish. The bottom was flat sand, bereft of any life or even a rock to break the monotony of the bottom.  Completely bereft save one item.  Matt’s snorkel mask.  The one item I was looking for.  This dive site is named Matt’s Mask.  I would not recommend this dive as the major attraction to the dive is no longer there.  I felt compelled to take it with me.  (As an aside, the snorkeling off Octopus Resort is excellent, we were anchored a bit away from it)

The next dive site was located off Navadra Island.  There was actually some particularly nice coral to look at just a little ways away, in predominantly twenty feet of water or less.  Allison was up above snorkeling, so why bother dinking around in twenty feet once I was done with the dive’s purpose?  That purpose being to retrieve our $800 Fortress stern anchor because the line attached to the anchor had chaffed through during the night.  This dive lasted just over five minutes as our GPS point of the anchor location was exactly on.  The dive plan consisted of going down to the bottom at fifty feet.  Visibility was only thirty feet; the water was cloudy here, though near the better snorkeling, visibility seemed improved.  Once at the bottom, dig up the anchor which is excellently embedded in sand, two feet away from the large coral reef which chaffed the line.  This will reduce visibility to six inches, so digging must be done by feel.  And you will not see approaching sharks, which are probably large 25-foot man eating ones.  I don’t know if there were sharks approaching, visibility was six inches, but I assume there were.  None, thankfully, penetrated the six inch visual field.  None, not even tiny reef sharks, actually penetrated the entire visual field of anyone that day during a combined four plus hours of snorkeling.  While my visibility was six inches though, I am sure the man-eaters were approaching rapidly.

Once the anchor is dug up, tie on a line to the anchor and return to the surface.  Job completed.

Another two dives bring my total to an impressive six dives in the last five months.  Seven dives, if you include the pool in Denver where I took the refresher course.  Other things have taken my time, energy, focus, and enjoyment.  Perhaps Australia will bring more regular diving!

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