scuba diving pictures

Here are some screenshots from the diving I did with Chris and Patrick a couple of weeks ago at Half-Vatu.

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Sea cucumber!

Sea cucumber!

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vatu-i-ra passage and many suva adventures

It is the beginning of the 2 exam weeks, but I don’t have any exams until the 2nd week. Two and a half week long study break? Fine by me! A lot of USP students get really fuffed about exams here but they don’t bother me at all.

This past week, I went up to Safari Lodge (3rd time is the charm) to hang out/snorkel/possibly do some diving. 9 of us went up and it was lots of fun! I got to snorkel a ton where I saw coral and coral and more coral. Acropora party! Butterflyfish mayhem! I felt nerdy.

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Ever since I did my dive course I really wanted to do dive the Vatu-I-Ra passage. The dive instructors at Safari Lodge have been travelling the world for the past 7 years and diving at pretty much every dive site known to man. They said that these sites were the best BY FAR, so we did it!

Patrick, Chris and I did a two tank dive at Half-Vatu at a dive site called Malaise. It was incredible. The only way I can really describe it is imagine the best coral picture you’ve seen in National Geographic and then imagine better! We got to go through a huge number of coral tunnels and we saw an unbelievable amount of giant coral fans. Everything was just massive and with such beautiful colour. Sometimes we could look up through a few holes and you could see the surface with red fish floating through and 20 kinds of coral at different depths – absolutely stunning. There is no way that I can describe it to you to do it justice.

Lauren went snorkelling at the same spot at the same time and he thought it was phenominal as well. This trip was his first time snorkelling – he is spoiled (as am I!!). Chris took a camera down so I will hopefully post some photos or videos at some point, but the colours don’t really come through.

We also went to Colo-I-Suva this week, which is always a blast. Yesterday a few of us went to my friend Tui’s farm and it was really great. His family owns a great piece of land in Nausori (about 25 minutes away) and we made a lovo from scratch. We made palusami (dalo leaves with onions, fresh coconut cream that we squeezed and either corned beef or tuna), yams, cassava, dalo, and chicken. It was delicious and I really appreciated him inviting us up there. It was incredibly fun and Tui and his father are two really great people.

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Credit: Evan

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Lauren and I are on a ‘strict’ get-back-into-shape-regime involving pull-ups and ab exercises. I did about 3 sit-ups two days ago and my abs still hurt. Our diet has also changed to bagels and bagels alone because Lauren has mastered the art of bagel-making. YES.

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I finally got my netbook in the mail (took 7 weeks when Canada Post says it will take 5-10 business days even to Fiji) and have been installing Lubuntu on it and getting it up to snuff. It’s nice finally have a reliable computer again.

The other day Liz, Lauren and I saw a Hindi movie called Yamla Ragla Deewana 2. I can honestly say that, to me, it was one of the worst $6.50s I’ve ever spent and 3 hours long gone. The plot was typical… two con-men want to marry a girl with money but accidentally gets engaged to the wrong girl, but add in sumo wrestlers that literally fall from the sky, an orangutan that paints and likes to hang out with lady orangutans, an evil person whose ‘lab’ is in the space exhibit of a science museum and a Super Sheik that can blow people away using his mind. Wow.

There are a billion movies coming out that everyone wants to see in the next 2 weeks: Great Gatsby, The Internship, Man of Steel (all this week), and Monsters University and World War Z (next week).

And yes, through the movies and having fun I will be studying. I am at a pretty good place right now with classes which is good because they are all at the same time. I already finished Health Psychology (final mark: A!), and I am going into all my exams with good marks (A+ in Marketing, and B+ in Marine Biology – WHAT!!!). I still need to check my Ethics mark, but I’ll do that today.

I’m also getting ready for New Zealand more and more.. seeing if I can get more job bites and deciding where I want to fly to at first. I also need to figure out how I am going to pack and where I will stay.. all depends on everything really. Lots of options so hopefully narrow that down a bit more before I have to leave. It’s looking like I will try to start work as soon as possible…. I am hoping for some relevant experience but I might do some odd jobs until I can find a job like that.

Oh and lastly, here is a picture of Christine after her Diablo act at the USP Talent Show. She won second place and won $600! We were all very proud of her. Also, she is awesome. She has inspired me to take some circus lessons at Circus West in Vancouver (where she goes too). Hopefully I will have enough money to do this because I think I would really like to enjoy it. I would love to do the main-en-main course, or a silks course. But main-en-main would be awesome! PS: Diablos are really fun

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And a Stomp-esque group:

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taveuni

My posts are very scattered as of late but here goes on pre-Dad and Kate visiting and Taveuni.

The couple of days after the dive course, Kat went off to do her own thing and I stayed back in Suva to do lots of homework. But obviously I found something to do… Holi! I had never even heard of Holi before but it is a Hindu celebration, also known as the festival of colours. The Indian Students Association had an evening of song, paint throwing, dance and sweets.

Credit: Alden

Credit: Alden

Like at home, we got a 4-day weekend for Easter where we all went to Robinson Crusoe Island (also known as day-tripper tourist paradise). After Kat left, Dad, Kate and I took the bus back to Suva. I was pretty busy those couple of days but we did squeeze in a trip to the forest park (of course) with my sailing partner Deborah. She works for the forestry department so could answer their 1 000 000 questions quite well.

I flew to Taveuni the day after they flew. They rented a cottage that was really nice. The first full day that we were there, Dad and I went scuba diving on the Rainbow Reef which was awesome! He had to do a refresher course because the last time he dove was 1977. He said that the only fish he saw during his whole course was dead. He liked it a lot. I did too! We saw big fish, lots of triggerfish, parrotfish, corallius maximus, and a small whitetip reef shark. We dove at a site called Fish Factory.

The next 3 days I went to Qamea Island which is off the East of Taveuni by myself to a backpackers. I had heard good things about Maqai Beach Backpackers so I decided to check it out. I wasn’t quite sure if it was worth going over there despite it being a beautiful place, but then on one snorkel expedition off the beach I saw a leoprad whip ray, a turtle, and a haaaUUUge fish! I saw a turtle!! That was one of my Fiji goals. Worth it! I met a lot of nice people there as well.

Lastly with Dad and Kate in Taveuni, we drove down the West side of Taveuni to the International Date Line (Dad really liked that, please ask him about it), a church and the sliding rocks. I was really excited to go to the sliding rocks because it’s an all-natural waterslide. I was really nervous and only slid down maybe 3 m of it. It would look fine for a while but then would make a sharp turn or get really narrow. I needed a local kid to show me how it’s done! Or someone with more guts.

Dad and Kate seemed to really like Taveuni and I am glad they went there because I think they got a good experience for being tourists! They were really keen to try lots of new foods (but not kava).

Taveuni was really nice and I’d love to go back to dive more, go to Bouma National Park and really go on the water slide. I’m not sure if I will go back.. a group is going after exams but I haven’t figured out my plans yet. Moving my plane flights has turned out to be harder than I thought it would be.

After this, I went on a three-day field trip with my Marine Biology class (and Dad and Kate too!). Another entry for that though and I have a few pictures from that (but you might have to squint because they are lab report sized).

shark dive or not to shark dive?

Shark dive or not to shark dive? That is the question.

I have been hearing this line since before I got to Fiji: You’re going to Fiji? You’re in Fiji? You HAVE to dive. Especially the shark dive. My usual response was: Um. Sharks eat people. That’s scary. I made an oath not to do a cage dive because those sharks are SERIOUSLY trying to eat you. But they don’t have cage dives in Fiji – just open dives.

http://fijisharkdive.com/diving/shark-diving/the-shark-dive

I had a few friends do the shark dive recently, and now I keep thinking about it more and more. Is it worth the money? Is it worth doing and supporting a cause I do not like? (The sharks are attracted because the divemasters feed them. I am a strong believer that animals should be left as is.)

I’ve already high fived a shark, and that was one of my silly Fiji goals before I got here.

Thoughts?