Kadavu Photo Gallery
Written by Cathy Siegismund
We must apologize for the huge number of photos in this gallery, but we were
both completely enamored with the new challenges and rewards of underwater
photography. To give you an estimate of our exuberance, the first day I took 95
photos during a two tank dive, that's less than 1 1/2 hours for your non-divers.
Unfortunately, our enthusiasm is not quite yet
matched by our skill; but we're working on that. Also count yourself lucky that we
haven't figured out how to edit and post our 8-plus hours of video footage we also have
been accumulating. We're still working on editing to try to get it to look like
something from the Discovery Channel.
I have been diving for close to ten years in a variety of places and although
I have very rarely been on a dive I didn't enjoy, one does start to reach a point
where unless you see a "big thing" such as a ray, shark, turtle, etc many of the reef dives begin to seem rather average. Once you add photography
and videography, you not only have to almost relearn to dive all over again
needing to gain new skills in buoyancy, take into account video/photographic
considerations, but the best part is you stop to really appreciate the small
things. You can spend most of a dive trying to get the perfect butterfly fish shot, spot a small cleaner
shrimp, or a nudibrach.
I also beg the forgiveness of those of you with stronger marine biology
backgrounds than I. I no doubt will misname some of these lovely sea creatures.
One of my plans in Australia or when we return home next Christmas is to find a
good fish/coral identification book, or better yet find one on CD or DVD. If
any of our readers know of one, please
send us the name.
Most of our dives explored different spots along the inside of the reef,
which surrounds Kadavu. Although a couple went outside the reef and one included
a 3-tank dive down to a mountainous part of the island for a nice wall dive.
Two shots of a lovely clown trigger fish, the one on the
is after we discovered the correct filter to use on the camera
The beautiful lionfish, as long as you keep a safe distance from those feathery
Two varieties of Sweet lip fish we saw on almost every dive in Fiji
Some of our early attempts at macro photography,
a tiny juvenile boxfish on the
left and a nudibrach on the right
A reclusive lobster only showing his tentacles and an enormous mantis shrimp
Varying schooling fish
Very large type of sea cucumber, I think...
A very still turtle, until Joeli gave him a little pat and even then he only
slowly swam away
Spider conch and a giant clam common to the South Pacific ranging in colors and
can be over 2 feet long
A lovely cowry shell and a large crab held by the divemaster
A large pillow star and a pair of much smaller starfish show the reef's
I have always really liked eels, having pet a moray in French Polynesia and
always having been thrilled when I see a moray free swimming. Here in Fiji, I
was introduced to a new eel for me, called a blue ribbon eel.
Blue ribbon eel
They are only an inch or so wide, but can grow up to three feet long, though we
never saw one completely outside of its hole. I was fascinated with these
delicate and beautifully colored eels. My photos don't do the colors justice as
I was still working on mastering the use of lights and filters, but the heads
and a stripe running down their backs are a bright yellow and the body is a
Blue ribbon eel being coaxed a little farther out of his hole with a twig held
by the divemaster
One of our dives also included a shark dive, which brought in about six white
tips. Before feeding the sharks, Joeli also fed a pair of large brown moray eels,
which shared a hole.
Moray eel feeding
Fiji is well known for its incredibly beautiful and diverse hard and soft
corals. The colors are amazing and the large fans are fantastic. I won't even try
to name the diverse and breathtaking types of corals and invertebrates that live
An interesting enemy of the reefs of Fiji, other than man, global warming and
pollution, is a creature called a crown of thorns. It belongs to the starfish
family and has a voracious appetite for coral reefs.
Crown of thorns
The Fijians will periodically collect these off the reef, take them ashore and
bury them. Other islands have made the mistake of just cutting them up in the
destroy them. This, like a starfish, just causes each severed piece to re-grow
the rest of the animal and increase the problem.
Ken seemed to get a number of photos of me working on my video skills, which I
did with more or less success.
Cath practicing with the underwater video housing
One of my favorite fish subjects are the clown, or anemone, fish. There are
several species of these, which all have a symbiotic relationship with an
anemone . The clown fish lives in the anemone and the very nervy little clown
fish protects it against predators who would eat it.
Two clown fish in an anemone
The stinging anemone,
in turn, protects the clown fish from predators. The clown fish is immune to the
sting of the anemone. These are probably our favorite photo/video subjects.
There are several reasons for this, they are really cute fish, which will
usually face you as you approach their anemone; they are very tenacious and will
try to even chase a diver away from their anemone or at least play hide and seek
within it; and we have to admit we may have been a little
influenced by the movie Finding Nemo, which we really loved.
A variety of clown fish, one of our favorite underwater subjects