Dear F&F, July 23rd – 24th, 2011 (Eastern Hemisphere). Despite the \”true dateline\” being in Fiji, politically the entire group is in the Eastern Hemisphere\’s time zone. Both Tonga and Fiji want to be in the same hemisphere as their major supporters, Australia & New Zealand, so they\’ve \”Gerrymandered\” the dateline to suit.
We upped anchor for the one and half hour motor to Matangi Island\’s \”Honeymoon Cove\”. The island is privately owned, has a dive operation and the anchorage we went to with s/v \”Migration\” is used as a remote day trip for the honeymooners to be alone at from the local Matangi Island Resort. We were just part of the scenery as far as they were concerned. It was a beautiful spot and I\’ll post photos when I\’ve internet.
We decided to do a dive right off the point of the bay and Jeff, Carolyn, Bruce, Alene, Anja & I did the dive. It was lovely, a beautiful reef. Some of the damage from the cyclone that came through here two years ago was evident. Overall however, it was a great dive. We said goodbye to s/v \”Migration\” as they left to go back to Taveuni for the night and we stayed at the lovely Honeymoon Cove, having it all to ourselves.
A local dive guide came by and we made arrangements to go to \”Noel\’s Wall\” and the \”Yellow Wall\” the next day. These are two of the signature dive sites of Matangi/Laucala Islands. Laucala was formerly owned by Malcolm Forbes and is now owned by the owner of \”Red Bull\”. It is the most exclusive and expensive resort in the entire nation of Fiji. We heard rooms start around 4,000.00 USD/night. YIKES.
We did the dives the next day and were very impressed. \”Noel\’s Wall\” reminded me of Palau and somewhat of the \”White Wall\” without the density of soft corals, but the reef went on for almost 45 minutes of drift diving. We saw at least 10,000 \”Rainbow Runners\” in various stages of development. Two very nice and close up schools of chevron barracuda as well as all the usual reef suspects, white tip reef sharks and some of the nicest hard corals I\’ve seen since Mopelia & Maupiti in French Polynesia.
We\’ve decided to use the remnant of a strong Northerly wind tomorrow to head toward \”Vanua Balavu\” in the Exploring Islands of the Northern Lau Group. If we come back to the Western part of Fiji through this area again, we will hope to do \”Shark City\” where the name speaks for itself. Lions and Tigers and Bulls \”oh my!\”….:) Stay tuned! KIT, Scott with Anja and Sandrine