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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fiji Trip: Summary

At long last, I have posted my Fiji trip report!  Rob and I spent a week in Fiji, at Koro Sun Resort near Savusavu.  The trip was organized by Anywater Sports, and was our first ever shop trip.  The diving was nice, and some of it was super awesome.  We did a total of 15 dives over 6 days, which of course was not enough diving for Rob.  I thought that the amount of diving was in principle okay, but that the amount of time/effort spent diving versus the amount of diving was not really ideal.    It seemed like we spent nearly all day everyday diving, or walking back and forth between our room and the dive boat.  If I were to go back to Fiji (which I'm sure I will someday), I would do a few things differently.  I would definitely do it as a liveaboard -- both so I could do more diving (or the same amount, with more time to lay around and read), and because I imagine that on a liveaboard, a higher proportion of the dives would be of the super awesome variety.  I wanted to do something land-based because I wanted to see Fiji and its terrestrial creatures.  But I didn't really have a lot of time to chase butterflies anyway, so I think a better way to do it would be a liveaboard with a few non-dive days tacked on at the end.  So that's how I'd do it next time!  Also, unless I was taking a longer trip, I would try to go somewhere that does not require a flight within Fiji (and this may apply elsewhere as well).  We blew almost a day on each end with the travel from Nadi to Savusavu.  Assuming there's equally good diving to be done on the same island that you fly into, I would try to do that.

Since this was our first shop trip, here are my thoughts on that.  There were certainly both pros and cons to traveling with a group.  It was very nice to have someone else do all of the haggling with the airline, especially when they cancelled our flights!  On the other hand, our group was definitely too large for the dive shop to handle, and I suspect the diving experience would have been more efficient with a smaller group.  Or maybe it would have been exactly the same, but we would have had to deal with all the other crap ourselves.  I thought it was fun travelling with the shop, but it would have been a lot more fun with a much smaller group.  So I will probably stick to smaller group trips in the future.

Air Pacific is a pretty ghetto airline.  I didn't find the flight experience to be as good as I have on other recent transoceanic flights.  I guess you don't have that many other options though.  To be fair, I heard that the planes we flew on were about to be retired (like within a week's time), so perhaps the new planes are better?  I thought the resort was fine; it wasn't particularly luxurious but it was perfectly nice.  However, it is definitely a resort with some diving, and not a dive resort.  All of the people we interacted with at the resort were very friendly, and some of them gave really excellent service (like the bartender, who knew my name before I'd even visited the bar).  The dive shop clearly could not deal with so many divers.  They did their best to keep us happy, but I think we would have been a lot happier if there were fewer divers around while we were there. They were perfectly happy to let us wander off on our own, and did not (practically speaking) limit our dive time, which I liked.  And Colin really wanted to find good subjects for Rob to photograph (despite Rob's rather stubborn refusal to follow a DM of any sort :P).

So that's the summary.  Here are the reports day by day:

Fiji Trip: Getting to Fiji
Fiji Day 1: Hammerheads (or not) and Al50s
Fiji Day 2: Turtle Turtle
Fiji Day 3: Namena Marine Reserve
Fiji Day 4: Macro Day!
Fiji Day 5: Somosomo Strait
Fiji Day 6: The Elusive Hammerhead
Fiji Trip: Going Home

I have included a lot of Rob's pictures in this report, but there are even more and they can all be found here.

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