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Diving the World Famous Rainbow Reef

September 4, 2014

Persephone has arrived at the town of Savusavu on the big island of Vanua Levu, Fiji, (lat 16 46.6S long 179 20.1E) for some much needed provisioning and visa extensions after seven incredible weeks in the outer islands. We are on a mooring at the Copra Shed Marina where it is a quick dinghy ride to super markets and restaurants. It’s a nice change of pace but we are already thinking about moving on to quiet anchorages in the Koro Sea.

Our last posting was from Taveuni Island where we caught up with some cruising friends we had met in New Zealand. Together we caught a rickety bus for a 15 mile ride down a dirt road to a trail head that led us to some spectacular waterfalls. The trail was steep and we worked up a sweat before taking a refreshing dip at one of the falls. Much of Taveuni is rain forest and is known as the Garden Island.

We left Taveuni and sailed 15 miles across the Somosomo Straits to Viani Bay on the island of Vanua Levu (lat 16 45S long 179 53E) catching a nice Walu along the way. Experienced divers will recognize Taveuni as a world class dive destination, but that is only because Taveuni has tourist resorts. The diving is actually on the Rainbow Reef across the straits in Viani Bay.

We met and made fast friends with Jack who is a colorful dive guide who takes cruisers out to the reef. Jack rowed his dinghy out to Persephone each day for morning coffee before taking Persephone out to a dive site. We anchored and drift dove while Jack followed our bubbles in the dinghy and was there to pick us up at the end of the dives. What service!

The Rainbow reef is the best diving we have experienced on our entire trip. The current through the Somosomo Straits is ideal for the vast variety of soft corals and the colorful fish that live amongst them. Our dive sites included the Fish Factory, the White Wall, the Purple Wall, and two separate “ledge” dives. The GoPro got a real work out as we took hundreds of underwater photos and then struggled to pick a few for the blog.

A real treat was the “cave” at the White Wall. This is actually a 50 foot long submarine tunnel that starts at a depth of 40 feet and comes out at 70 feet. It was too dark for photos but was a great hiding place for schools of fish.

We exchanged emotional good byes with Jack after an incredible week of diving and headed to Savusavu. We are waiting for our visa extensions before heading into the Koro Sea for some more diving. Our current thinking is to return to New Zealand for cyclone season and enjoy cruising the off shore islands. Then next season heading for New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Solomons, ….

 

Ahi tuna was great with wasabi

Ahi tuna was great with wasabi

One the bus ride to the waterfalls, Taveuni

One the bus ride to the waterfalls, Taveuni

Locals, Taveuni

Locals, Taveuni

The hike to the second waterfall was exhausting

The hike to the second waterfall was exhausting

First waterfall offered a refreshing swim

First waterfall offered a refreshing swim

Taveuni is the Garden Island

Taveuni is the Garden Island

Jack was our dive guide in Viani Bay

Jack was our dive guide in Viani Bay

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A walu cruises by

A walu cruises by

Entrance to the "cave" at the White Wall

Entrance to the “cave” at the White Wall

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Beautiful clam

Beautiful clam

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