Although many divers visiting Fiji would probably be most interested in the shark dives, the more conventional dives are nothing to sniff at either.

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Fish highlights

We saw this endangered humphead wrasse (aka Napoleon wrasse) during the dive with Beqa Lagoon Resort. One of the highlights of an otherwise disappointing dive!

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Male humphead wrasses can grow up to 2m long(!) but are typically less than 1m. The females are slightly smaller. I don’t know how big this one was – all I know is that it was massive. Pictures don’t do it justice!

We also saw a tremendous number of red toothed triggerfish on that dive, as you can see in the picture. I know they’re not titan triggerfish (and hence far less likely to bite), but I’m still wary of them.

Here’s a puffer fish!

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I also saw plenty of my favourite fish – the moon wrasse. Always delighted to see them! Which is great, because they’re very common. I am easily satisfied!

But on this trip, I also encountered their cousin – the sunset wrasse. They add a huge dose of vibrant colour to the scene.

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And if you get tired of corals, how would you fancy a shipwreck?

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It makes for amazing pictures, but I do wish they provided proper fins instead of swimming flippers – I’m not used to having to work so hard while diving!

A barcheek trevally:

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(Beqa Adventure Divers, Pacific Harbour.)

Scuba Bula

In Nadi, we dived with Scuba Bula. This was a regular coral dive, and we had to wade out pretty far to the boat (not with the air tanks, thankfully!) but I really enjoyed this dive because we had the most entertaining divemaster, Api. The staff in general were very professional and helpful.

I was also impressed with the equipment – super new and high-end regulators with attached dive computers(!). The BCDs were new too!

In the winter months (May to September / October), you can see pelagics here – humpback whales, dolphins and mantas.

Unfortunately, we were in the wrong season for that, but we did a couple of fun dives, including a chimney with a deep swim-through. We saw a whitetip reef shark here too. No photos, sadly, because there was no SD card in the GoPro! (Don’t make this mistake.)

The location is a bit unusual – it’s located in a resort which is closed for renovations and there was no running water, but I expect everything to return to normal once the resort reopens. There’s also a Marriott opening nearby in 2017, so it will be super convenient to dive at Scuba Bula if you stay there!

Price: FJD240 (USD116) for 2 dives.

(Other) reasons to dive in Fiji

If you aren’t keen on shark dives, I encourage you to consider doing other dives in Fiji nonetheless.

Here’s what I liked best about diving there (apart from the sharks):

  1. You get to meet really cool people (although this goes for diving in any part of the world, I guess!). We met a couple from Colorado, a Danish girl with Sri Lankan roots, a producer for a US TV show, a pair of digital nomads and even some fellow Singaporeans.
  2. They provide biscuits and tea during the surface interval.
  3. Boat dives (so much easier than shore dives – minimal walking around with your tank strapped on)!

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A couple of things that I wasn’t expecting:

  1. The water (at about 26 degrees C) is colder than I’m used to. Most people were wearing a 3mm wetsuit, but I felt cold in a 5mm one. I seriously considered buying a hood, but felt silly – who dives with a hood in 26 degrees?! I really grew to appreciate having a wetsuit with a good seal.
  2. You get even colder on a shark dive than a regular dive, because you’re not moving around. You’re stationary most of the time.
  3. I actually got a bit sick of diving halfway through the trip. It was after the unsuccessful trip to Beqa Lagoon to see a tiger shark, and I’d simply had enough of getting up early, struggling to get into my wetsuit, feeling cold and battling seasickness on a daily basis. The upshot: we took a day off diving and explored Nadi, which was a nice change of pace and scenery.

Have you ever had enough of one of your favourite activities? How did you deal with it?

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