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Saturday, January 1, 2022

Taveuni, Fiji: Day 5

I was too lazy to write about this day on the same day (but I did take notes), so you get a somewhat abbreviated post for today.  I had muesli for breakfast, which was actually a bit sweet for my tastes.

In the morning, we did two dives at Rainbow Reef.  The first dive was awesome, one of my favorite dives of the trip.  It was at Jerry's Jelly, which is named because if a bommie that looks like a jellyfish.  It is dome shaped with a horizontal cutoff going through it, and white soft corals hanging down over the opening.  The site had crazy current, but of course that also meant amazing soft corals and tons of little fish darting around on top of the soft corals.  At the beginning of the dive, in addition to the jellyfish bommie, there were a couple of other reasonably-sized structures that were just downcurrent of the jellyfish bommie.  We spent probably like 30 minutes in that area, hiding behind the structures to get a break from the current, then swimming upcurrent to enjoy the soft corals and anthias again, and then drifting back behind them.

While we were in that area, Soni was hanging around on some smaller outlying rocks, and he found two leaf scorpionfish and a blue ribbon eel.  Nice finds in general, but especially in crazy current!  When we finished up in that area, we drifted down the reef a bit and then not too far from the bommies, we crossed over the top of the reef, which was a wild ride, with tons of little fish everywhere.  We got spit out on the other side of the reef, in the relative calm.  A whitetip reef shark swam by right on the other side of the reef.  By this point, it was about time to go, so we didn't really explore the other side of the reef.

The other group on the boat was a bit traumatized by the current on the dive, and so they wanted to do a lower current dive for the second dive.  (Boo!). We went to The Zoo, which we'd been to earlier in the week.  For the first half of the dive, I was a bit annoyed that we were wasting a dive on Rainbow Reef at this site because people don't like current.  Why would you go to Rainbow Reef if you don't want to dive in current?  Anyway, the site does have good variety overall.  There were some nice soft corals along the top of the wall near the beginning, and we saw a lot of barracuda, including some really big ones.  We also saw a big tuna swim by along the wall.

After lunch (chicken and veggie chow mein), we did an afternoon dive at Vuna Reef.  It was actually a really awesome dive, at a site called "The Stairs".  This site has a swimthrough from about 40 feet to 70 feet, and right after you pop out of the swimthrough, there's a little ledge that is covered (above and below) by white soft corals.  It's like a mini great white wall.  We hung out there for quite some time getting pictures of it.

We were going to do a night dive, but apparently we aren't supposed to go unguided (even though we had earlier in the week), so we had to postpone that to tomorrow, because it was too late to find a guide.

It rained like crazy starting around 6.  We tried to wait it out for the walk over to dinner, but eventually made a run for it during a lull.  I had beef satay skewers for dinner and banana fritters with ice cream for dessert, which were both super yummy!  It rained really hard off and on all night.

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