The one thing noticeable during a dive here near the Volivoli Beach Resort is the corals. There is an abundance of soft corals and many hard corals. There is one of the coral that is a deep reddish colour and when the dive master stroked the coral once or twice with his carabiner, the coral turned a whitish colour. There are pink and yellow and beige and bright orange corals. The fan corals are huge and intricate.
The hard corals look like elkhorn coral, only smaller in scale and multicoloured. Most of these have a plethora of tiny fish darting in and out of them. Fish nursery school.
Unfortunately, due to the cyclone stirring up the ocean bottom and the river sediment washed into the ocean from the rain runoff, the visibility is poor. On today’s dives, we cannot see more than about 20 feet, so we have to keep close track of the dive master and our dive buddy. We see schools of fish but they look ghostlike. Fiji is known for its amazing visibility and blue water and I could only imagine what the dive sites would be like with the sun swing down through clear blue water.
We are diving with a group of folks on a dive tour. They are mostly from Eastern Canada and are all experienced divers. Although all 11 of us dive as one group, everyone endeavours to give everyone else space to move and take pictures. I don’t remember diving with a group of divers of any size that dive as well as these folks.
We have not had to deal with much current on our trips for a very long time. Maybe the last time we dealt with any current at all was the Galapagos, in 2014. Here it is odd, one dive the current is steady but just strong enough to be a bit annoying. The next dive there is absolutely no current and then the following dive the current is totally variable, so strong at some points you can barely hold your place, then nothing and it is super easy to make progress.
Although we are finding small stuff that we love, it is not as abundant as we had hoped. Maybe the sediment and poor visibility are causing some of that. We have found some nudibranchs that we haven’t seen before and some of our favourite fish.
During our second dive, we have a small remora and a large remora following us. As we are ascending to the line at the end of the dive, I had two larger remora trying to attach themselves to my stomach, which they do with a Velcro type texture on the top of their head. C, one of the other divers keeps shooing them away by swinging her camera at them. I though they just like my grey fins, but C said they were going for my belly.
Another good day under the water. Looking forward to more tomorrow.