Today is a beautiful day on the west side of Taveuni; still here in Viani Bay. Yesterday was a pretty day in the morning, while we dove, and then it turned very windy and cloudy, although it doesn't rain much over here on the Vanua Levu side.
We did have a wonderful two dives and it was great getting back into the dive mode. The very coolest part of diving with tanks is that you can stay down and get close to the fish and they don't seem to care that you are blowing bubbles; because you are moving much less than when you are snorkeling, your body movement is more like that of a fish. We saw lots of schools of snappers and an amazing school of fusiloier fish, brillient luminescent blue with gold outlines and they moved as one all around us. It was brilliant, as the NZ's say! We saw colorful soft and hard corals of all kinds, flowing anenomes (sp?), clownfish and a tiny colorful flatworm that is not usually visible. Our dive master is a German guy who runs the Dolphin Reef Diving Retreat, and they have a dive shop which many other resorts use.....very low key but professional and safe as well. We ate lunch over there and relaxed for a while before getting a ride back to Sidewinder inside Viani Bay.
We then proceeded to take Worm over to Abu and Elenor's house on shore for a fabulous dinner for all of the yachties anchored here in the bay. It was wonderful. We have met some great people here and hope to see them again along our journey. When I returned home to Sidewinder, early in the evening, I felt like shit. I meant to email you about all of this at that time, but I wrapped myself in my little snuggly blanket and was down for the count, sweating at times through the night, working through this temperature. Phew! Wonder what that was all about? I feel so great this morning, without taking Tylenol or Advil, and am happy to be rid of the creepy bug we both picked up. Today we are going out with one of the locals, Jack, and doing a snorkel on Rainbow Reef. He will pick us up after we drift for a while. Yes, finally, it truly is another shitty day in Paradise.
P.S. from the following day:
We went snorkeling with Jack late this morning and it probably is up there as the very best dive ever as of yet. PHEW ! What clarity, color, variety of hard and soft corals, tons of fish, I saw a huge octopus and we all saw a few white tipped sharks. Jack was in our dinghy and paddled along as we floated with the current and now I take back what I said about diving vs snorkeling. I just held my upper body still, added a weight, and it seemed great. The only thing I missed was not just being able to stay down, but the silence was pretty precious. Soooooo. There you have it. We were out there at least an hour or more and just finally got too cold, even with short wetsuits. It was hard to stop, it was so damn beautiful.
We discovered, while changing the oil this afternoon, a leak in the salt water exhaust manifold; we may take up a mooring here at Jack's or move to the north end of Taveuni to an anchorage closer to the civilization of Taveuni. I will let you know.