Written by Cathy Siegismund
Felicity was now comfortably anchored in front of the Dive Kadavu Resort with
an increasing number of boats from the New Zealand Rally joining us.
Kadavu Island group and the location of the Dive Kadavu
Everyone assumed we were also part of the rally, and must have wondered what
sort of supersonic 31 foot boat we had to arrive with the 50-60 foot boats, which
arrived the same day we did; though no one actually asked us this.
Some of the larger rally boats anchored off the Dive Kadavu
The anchorage became increasingly crowded topping out with over 25 boats. It
was a little crowded but was well protected from the swell by the surrounding
reef and the weather remained settled during our stay. We had seen a few of the
rally boats before, but didn't know any of them. We did meet some of the cruisers and
some of their crew members from the larger boats. We enjoyed a few
afternoons around the beach bar and had dinner one night in the restaurant. We
also enjoyed being spectators at the rally's big party night with a "P" theme,
which had people in costumes as pirates, pimps, prostitutes, patients, painters,
pajamas, etc -- you get the idea.
Beach bar at Dive Kadavu Resort
One of the more unique features at the resort was found in the bathroom. This
is where we found the world map as it should be, according to our friends down
Southern Hemisphere World Map
We met some interesting folks who worked at Dive Kadavu including that
manager Dave, an Aussie, who
had until the bombing in Bali managed quite a large resort there. We later learned
he returned to Bali as tourism apparently is back on the rise. We also enjoyed spending time with a North American couple, Cindy and
Fred, who were both dive instructors and who had recently started work at Dive
Kadavu. They had spent several years working in the Caribbean diving, so we
enjoyed talking about diving and travel.
Our main reason for stopping in Kadavu was to dive, and we took full
advantage of it. Ken hadn't been diving in about a year and I had only been once
in NZ, so we wanted to log some bottom time before our big Aggressor trip. I
also wanted to practice with our new underwater video camera housing, as I had
only been in the pool with it once and been diving with it once in NZ.
We had about a week in Kadavu before we had to leave for Nadi and our
Aggressor trip. We didn't really have any specific plans about staying in one
place or exploring more of the island, however, we ended up staying exactly
where we initially dropped the hook because we were having such a great time
diving. Despite an anchorage full of 25 boats, Ken and I had the dive boat all to
ourselves four out of the six days we dived. We found the diving really
quite exceptional despite a few rainy days and we settled into doing a two-tank
dive each morning at 0830. This made for pretty mellow evenings but we had a
great time. Part of what made our Kadavu diving experience so wonderful was our
dive master, Joeli Vatu. He had been working at the resort since 1996, and was
still brimming with enthusiasm to show us every sea creature that lived along
the reef. He is hands-down one of the best dive masters I've ever dived with, not
to mention his warm personality and great sense of humor.
Joeli showing us something on his slate
Joeli having some fun, blowing air rings up at us as we did
our safety stop
Jolami driving the dive boat
This particular day, we were diving with a cruising couple Ian and Annie from the UK.
We were joined one day by Ian and Annie from the UK
The boat was also dropping a group of snorkelers off who would use a kayak
as a marker until the dive boat returned for them. With all of the people and dive gear, we
had to tow the kayak, which kept flipping over. Joeli, finally decided to prevent
this, and have some fun, he would ride in the kayak.
Joeli being towed behind the dive boat minutes before he
flips it by trying to stand up and surf on it!
Our dive routine was to do our first dive, then beach the dive boat where we
would have tea and biscuits, spending an hour or so talking with Jolami and
Joeli, and then go out for our second dive. I was quite impressed one day, when
after only a few minutes of walking the beach Joeli returned with letter-shaped
coral and spelled out my name on the beach.
My name spelled out in coral
Cath & Ken diving in Kadavu
Clown (aka anemone) fish
To view an excessive
number of photos from two newbie underwater shutter bugs see:
Note that this photo gallery has many pictures and will take awhile to
As it was usually just the three of us diving, we also got to be pretty good
friends with Joeli, Jolami, our dive boat driver, and Mini, the second dive
master. Our new diving friends were as interested in cruisers as we were in Fiji.
They asked if they could come out to see Felicity. We had them out to the boat
for some afternoon snacks and to watch some of the dive video I had taken. All
of them lived in Kadavu and were from the surrounding area, yet they had
never been sailing, so they had lots of questions about every bit of gear on the
boat. We gave them all Felicity hats and then they kept teasing us about when
they we were all going to sail away as they were now crew -- with the hats.
Ken, Joeli, Jolami, and Mini in Felicity's Cockpit
The diving in Kadavu, Fiji has been the best we've done in the South Pacific.
The hard and soft corals are simply amazing, there is an abundance of wildly
different reef fish as well as the bigger exciting things like rays, sharks,
eels, and turtles.
We really enjoyed the time we spent on Kadavu, and would have stayed longer
and explored more of the island if we had not had our deadline to reach Musket
Cove and our upcoming dive trip aboard the Fiji Aggressor.