Jean Michel Cousteau Resort, Vanua Levu, Fiji Islands
So I managed to set some sort of record for the most trips out to Namena.
Three in one trip.
I dunno why. It's not a hard run or a long day. Hour out. maybe a little more back. Only a little choppy, not serious stuff if you've been out in Monterey or on Kauai. Nothing, or so they tell me, like the Niihau trip from Kauai.
Of the three, this was the best. This was good. Best diving of the whole trip.
I'm getting to be frineds with teh people I'm diving with. Dean, Grace, her husband Rex. Several others. I'm going to miss them.
So this started a beautiful, sunny day. Blue sky, flat sea. Perfect. The boat left a little early.
An easy run out. Talking with the crew.
We did teh same first site as teh other days, 'grand central', but we ran it a different direction due to current; it made it a long, beautiful drift dive along the deep wall. I stayed at reasonable depth this time to make the dive longer.
Sharks aplenty. A grey and a white-tip side by side, then a pair of white-tips down sleeping in a hole; almost close enough to touch. I love sharks, I always want to take off and swim with them as far as I can but that burns my air. Still, I got a good un for a minute with one of these guys.
The wall dive was great; we covered parts of the wall I hadn't seen and had the bluest water of the trip. Good, good dive.
We surfaced and pulled in close to ths island for our surface interval. It's a stunning place, home to Moody's Resort; teh island is small and fringed with a barrier reef, and it was all blue sky and blue sea and sun and birds overhead. Truly beautiful.
Second dive was a site I'd done before called Blue Ribbon, and I spent much of it watching small fish schooling and big fish (Which I think of by their Hawaiian name, 'ulua', but are know here as trevally jacks) eating them. High current, but here that's a plus becase the corals all open and it's almost like flowers.
A great day.
The wind picked up on the run in; not so bad, but wet so we huddled in the cabin most of the way. But by the time we were back in Savu-Savu bay, the winds had spun around to a wierd northeasterly direction and the water inside the bay, normally flat, were so choppy we couldn't land at the dock. We had to run all teh way into town and climb off at the funky little yacht harbor and find taxies to get home.
Man, how the weather here changes. From spectacular blue sky to what looked like it was going to turn into a full-blown tropical storm. In fact there was a cyclone just south of the islands but we never got it. But the dinner we'd booked for the table they set on the end of the jetty had to be canned, it was raining and storming by dinner time. It rained all night but typically, was clear by morning.
They gave me a crew t-shirt. Only guy who's ever done three runs out to namena in one trip. It's like I'm tribe now.
The trip is almost over. I'm not happy about that. But there are people back home who I miss, and I just read about a hurricane in Florida that's headed directly for some frineds of mine. I'm trying not to think about it. Trying really hard. And willing really hard for it to turn away and pass them by.
One more day of diving, then it's all done and it's all about the long, long ride home.