In November 2016, my family celebrated my Dads 70th Birthday in Fiji. He also shares his birthday with my son who was turning two, so it was a double celebration. I was so excited to take my kit in the sea for the first time!
It was worth lugging it on the three flights to get to Jean-Michel Cousteau resort in Savu Savu. The house reef was lovely although not much live coral. A lot was sadly destroyed in the cyclone which devastated the island in early 2016. The resort had only recently reopened after rebuilding a lot of it. The water clarity was great though and plenty of fish life.
We took the kids snorkelling for the first time with mixed success but they enjoyed the glass-bottom boat ride nonetheless. Christian and I managed to get a couple of dives in which were nice. One was particularly colourful and the other Shark Alley, although sadly no sharks had some great caves and swim throughs which was fun. A little tricky navigating with my rig at times!
The day of the birthdays was spent having a picnic on a little private island. The kids loved exploring the rocks and reefs. I was on a mission to get an over under shot of the whole family, 5 adults and 4 kids which was not going to be easy. Especially as it was low tide and I had to take it in about a foot of water. The result turned out ok and it was a pretty epic day!
Funny story on the last day, my brother was snorkelling on the house reef when people started waving at him. He waved back and continued going until he realised they were calling him out of the water! A 14ft hammerhead had just swum under the jetty towards him so he hammered it (pub intended) back to shore! One of the staff jumped in a dingy to follow it and I jumped in too and we saw some fin but it swam away. Apparently, they’d never seen a shark of this size so close to the resort. Luckily it was the last day or my shark-fearing British husband would not have gone in the water! I couldn’t resist this little montage of my brother…