Scuba Dives and Crab Races

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Howdy all again. I’m going to have to try to write briefly this time, as I just noticed I’m down to 40 minutes of battery life, and on the islands, there certainly isn’t really reliable power, so I’ll cap off the rest of my day’s stories with the past 18 hours excitement. Once again, the sun is killing me out here, and re-applying every few hours is the norm to avoid the super-extreme Canuck burn! The highlight for the day has to be my introductory scuba dive, which I splurged the 120 FJD to do, having to actually dust off my credit card to pay for. Had it been cash-only, as most of the events are, I couldn’t have done it. I was not disappointed, and have now decided that I should definitely get PADI certified at some point, as the feeling is phenomenal. Read on…

In spite of having been up pretty late for the Kava ceremony, I still managed to be one of the first up in the morning, and promptly slapped on a dallop of lotion all over me, in preparation of another blazing day in Fiji. I didn’t jump right in the water this morning, but I knew I’d spend plenty of time in it later. Also, did I mention the “Steve Twist”? That’s the name everyone gave to my dive of the day before in which I dropped the 15 feet to the water and landed flat on my back. Painful beyond belief. Anyway, once everyone got up, the divemaster briefed us and we headed to a nearby island resort where the dive shop was located. Since there were 7 of us first-timers, we split into two groups, and I was in the second group.

To pass the time, I followed the first group into the water for a while, snapping some underwater shots of them in their gear trying out all the moves. It was already very hot, and the sand literally burned my feet in seconds. Now I finally understand why Fijians are also fire dancers and walkers as well. They must have soles that are an inch thick to walk on all that sharp crushed coral and hot sand. However, I’m digressing. I think I’m just a bit tired sitting here writing all these posts at once while enjoying a couple beer on a breezy island.

Diving. Fantastic. Saw some cool stuff, including an octopus hiding in coral, some lion fish (3), and some puffers, as well as thousands upon thousands of other types of fish in their native environment. I was absolutely blown away by the amount of diversity in the ocean around here. We only went down to about 12m, but that was plenty to get the taste of things. I think some day I’ll take a weeks vacation in the Carribbean or something, and take a full-time PADI course. It’s awesome to swim like a fish and be able to breathe underwater.

Once the dive was over, we went back to the cruise boat for a last meal, and some more swimming and lazing until the yasawa flyer boat was to pick us up and take me to the next island again at 2:30. It was hard to say goodbye again to the new group of friends I’d made, but that’s the way the water flows down here. Only one night left, on the South Sea Island, which is only a half hour from the mainland.

This place is absolutely tiny. You can walk around the island in less than five minutes. However, it boasts a little freshwater pool, volleyball court, combo dorm / welcome house, and staff quarters. Since arriving a few hours ago, I’ve gone snorkeling yet again, played a bit of volleyball, had a shower, eaten, and taken part in crazy games. The crazy games? Well, we did some hermit crab racing, then some orange passes games, and things like that. A little silly, but good way to break the ice with the group. Speaking of which, time for me to sign off and join some of the crew here to talk about my kava ritual of last night, as they are asking. Cheerio, and take care all! BTW, my crab did not win. Boo.

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