Saturday, August 17, 2013


After our day in "Paradise" we were ready for more adventure. Winds were favorable, so we decided to make a 45-mile passage across the Koro Sea to the marine reserve at Namena. This offshore reef system has some of the best soft coral and most diverse fish life in all of Fiji. We called ahead to make sure that the single mooring ball was available, and asked if they would take us diving. Although the small resort here does not normally accommodate non-guests, it has recently come under new management, and they agreed to take us diving, since none of this week's guests were divers. This was lucky for us, as sea conditions were too rough for us to dive from our dinghy. We dove the same two dives two days in a row: "Grand Canyon" and "Chimneys." After seeing this arch, I thought they should have renamed this dive "Canyonlands" or "Arches." The soft corals here were even better than what we had seen at the Rainbow Reef last week. Fish life was abundant and very diverse. We noted at least a dozen species that we had never seen before, including walu (Spanish mackerel). One of the highlights for which I have no picture was taking my regulator out and positioning my open mouth in front of a cleaning station. Several cleaner shrimp stepped gingerly onto my lower lip and went to work like dental hygienists! Couldn't hold my breath long enough for the full treatment, so I guess I'll have to schedule another appointment. We took a short walk on the end of the island after our dives were finished. There were some amazing trees here.

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