Fiji Diving for Xmas

For Christmas this year, we decided as a family to go to Fiji. I am an avid diver/snorkeler/freediver, but had never been there before. The family decided to get PADI certified before the trip so we could all go diving together!

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Leah and the kids did their coursework in California along with their pool dives. PADI provides a “referral certification” where you do your remaining four ocean dives at your diving destination. Here is the family on one of their first Fijian dives finishing their certification process.

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We stayed on the island of Savusavu. A bulk of the island has protected waters and about an hour boat ride away is the coveted Namena Island with its marine reserve status and protections. Above are some pics of the dives we did; many, many different types of stony corals (Acropora genus mostly), soft corals, fans, and more. The fish life was abundant as well; anthias, chromis, and lots of critters everywhere.

In addition to diving and snorkeling, one of my hobbies is reefkeeping. I’ve had reef aquariums off and on for the last twenty years. One of my old websites (not maintained anymore but still running) is www.berlinmethod.com which details a few of the tanks I’ve had. No longer running is a website I started in the early 2000’s which was called frags.org and enabled reef enthusiasts to share propagated coral fragments with each other, to avoid taking new pieces from the reefs. Anyway, the point of all that is that I love stony corals, and can identify most of them to the species level when diving! And I’ve kept quite a lot of the different types of fish and critters in my tanks over the years that you see when diving.

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So much life! Lots of orange anthias swimming in this black Tubastrea sp. (sun coral). Interesting fact- sun coral is non-photosynthetic and that is why you see the all the little mouths open there in the pic, they are feeding on particles and plankton floating by…

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If you go diving, I strongly suggest a flashlight and gloves. LED with 800-1000 lumens can be purchased on Amazon for $35 or so, and allow you to see all the vivid colors at depth. Gloves enhance diving as you can grab onto pieces of rock without worry of cuts.

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Here’s our dive guide, Bait, or as he spells it in Fijian Beato. He was an awesome guide and knew all the spots… see below for some amazing shots!
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Swimming with about 15 grey sharks at Namena Island.
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A massive, 10 foot wide, Manta Ray at Namena Island. There was one other smaller one in the group as well.
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Me and JMC himself

I also had the honor to meet Jean Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques. Jean Michel has a resort in Savasavu that caters to divers particularly in the tradition of his family. Jean Michel continues to do his father’s work by leading a variety of environmental programs globally to help drive better reef and ocean sustainability. You can read more at Ocean’s Future Society and Cop 23 Global Warming UN Conference.

Here are two short videos I made while diving with the family out there…

We will certainly be returning to Fiji to dive more and spend more time with the fantastic people there. See you in the water!

Author: Kris Duggan

1% better every day.

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