Fiji Day 9

Diving Sunday, 17 June 2012

Today rather chilly.  No more sun.  (We’ll get enough in Tucson!)  Choppy ride to the dives, Best of the Best and Glory Hole.  Very pleasant dives.  A gorgeous oriental sweetlips under coral, horizontal stripes, yellow and blue, and a yellow and blue polka dotted tail and fins.

5″ long black flatworm with white iridescent edges (see Day 4).  Blue sponges like yesterday’s yellow boring sponges.  (This photo from the internet, all of the rest C’s.)  Rust-colored table coral with 1″ black fish with white tails (bicolor chromis) sprinkled over the top.  (Move your hand and they flip down into the coral.)

Anemone fish orange with vertical turquoise stripes or orange with one white stripe behind the head (see Day 6.)

Holes in the side of the pinnacle reminded me of Indian cliff dwellings.  Each opening has its own fish, in a myriad of colors.  And more carnation coral.  Fiji is known as “The Soft Coral Capital of the World”.

A nurse shark on the sand – no big deal after the shark dive.  But an incredibly beautiful lionfish showing off in its own space, the paparazzi snapping photos of his diaphanous fins, floating out like the ribbons of the Chinese ribbon dancers, its body an intricate brown and white stripes.

At the top of the pinnacle, in a bit of surge, hundreds of small orange anthias mixed with hundreds of small purple blackcap gramma basslets all the way to the surface and so many variations in colors, spots, stripes of other small fish – red, deep purple, yellow, black – among the incredible corals.  This video gives you a brief idea, although its corals aren’t as vivid:

Parrotfish the largest, mostly turquoise, with various color markings, nibbling on the coral.  One totally over-styled  maze clown triggerfish.   (I’m sure I saw it, but no one had a photo of one.  Both of these photos from the internet.)

Black sea urchins nestled into holes in the coral wall.  (Think that’s an orange sponge at the top.)  Red crinoid, or feather star.  Bicolored blennies (see Day 7) popping in and out of their holes.

It was windy and quite cool back up on the boat.  He huddled near the protected front with the requisite hot chocolate and banana bread.  After the second dive C2 has quite a chill.  (I am perhaps not warm enough with my dive skin and shorty wet suit, but not a big deal.)

One of the dive master said he’s going to bring his dry suit back from the UK.  He said that day after day of the cold (76° – 79°) water gets to him.  And he started diving in the UK!

Couldn’t go on tonight’s night dive.  The resort has no dive lights to rent here!  (Most places I’ve been to, they’re included!)  OMG – B and C had their dive lights cut from their BCD’s in the dive shop and stolen so they unhappily missed the night dive.  (Dive shop pictured here.)

Turns out the night dive had been very choppy – J didn’t even get down, and only one dive mater for over a dozen people.  Guess I’m glad I didn’t go.

Forgot to mention the plane ticket fiasco.  The resort had booked our flights.  The Monday before we were to fly out, L got the pile of tickets and noticed that the return flight was for July 19, not June 19!  A scramble.  The resort couldn’t get enough seats on the June 19 return, so 10 people had to stay another two days, with free room and board.  Five couples volunteered, no problem.

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One Response to “Fiji Day 9”

  1. Jim Says:

    I am surprised you have not seen a large octopus and giant grouper. I suspect they have been depleted by spear fishing.

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