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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Fiji 2019: Day 6 (Gau)

We headed back to the other end of the island in the morning and dove the outside of the fringing reef.

Dive 1: Jungle jig

This site is just outside and to the left of the channel. It was a rather sporty ride to the site and Vanessa warned us that it might be a bit surfy in the shallows, so we probably be better off staying a bit deeper and ascending off the reef at the end of the dive. There is a gently sloping that becomes more of a wall as you go deeper, with a pinnacle just off of the wall. The pinnacle comes up to 80’ and that is where we spent most of our time on the dive. Rob and Clinton were both shooting macro. We found a little turtle almost immediately when we got to the pinnacle. He was pretty friendly. Other than that, we saw a bunch of pipefish, a coral with some bubble shrimp, and some strange mantis shrimp. The top of the pinnacle had hard corals and lots of little fish (like anthias). Overall it was a nice dive with excellent viz.

French toast with bananas and coconut for breakfast.

Dive 2: Nigali pass

We did the shark dive one more time. Rob decided he was tired of sharks (?) so he went up the wall on the left to look for reef shots while Clinton and I did the shark dive again. The viz was a bit better today. We saw more white tip sharks including two snoozing on the reef. We hung out at the Y again and got lots of shark fly-bys. One shark had a little pilotfish friend accompanying him, which was pretty adorable. At the end of the channel, we saw a little turtle twice, who was pretty friendly. I think Clinton got a couple of shots.

For lunch we had chicken kebabs (there were fish kebabs too which looked very tasty) and fried rice.

Dive 3: Outside slope

After lunch we went to the outside slope of the fringing reef, to the slope near where the jungle jig pinnacle was. We didn’t plan to go to the pinnacle but Rob saw a little turtle and zipped over there quickly. This was a pretty uneventful dive. The viz was really good, so it was fun just drifting along the slope, but we didn’t see anything particularly interesting. Rob was bored so he demoed some GUE-approved kicks with his fins on his hands.

Not-Dive 4: Village visit

Instead of a fourth dive, we had a village visit to Somusomu in the afternoon. We visited a village on our last Nai’a trip, but it wasn’t the same one and it wasn’t nearly as interesting as this visit. Somusomu is a very small village (29 houses and 117 people) so we got to walk around pretty much the whole place with our guide Tom. They had lots of mango and breadfruit trees. We stopped in the kindergarten (which currently has 5 students), which is a bamboo hut but very well stocked with books inside (mostly from Nai’a passengers). We also happened upon a dog with a litter of super cute puppies so we played with them for a bit. After the tour, we went to a sort of community hall where kava root was exchanged, everyone introduced themselves, and there was some singing and dancing and some chatting with the locals. We headed back to our boat just after sunset.

For dinner I had stuffed chicken with risotto and Rob had steak and potatoes. For dessert we had brownie cheesecake with ice cream (yum yum yum). It was One of the guests’ birthday and also the anniversary of a couple so the crew sang to them.

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